Engaging external stakeholders in mine closure and rehabilitation planning

Last modified by Administrator on 2016/05/06 16:14

The ultimate goal for mine closure and rehabilitation is to leave the footprint of the former mine accessible for use by others.  Agriculturalists, local governments, nature groups and even neighbours to a mine often have ideas about what subsequent use might be possible or even desirable.  When a mining operation is able to successfully engage these and other interested stakeholders successfully, two things happen.  The first is that an optimal mine closure and rehabilitation plan can be designed.  The second is that the potential for conflict and associated additional expenses is reduced.  This summary aims to explore resources available to engage these external stakeholders successfully in the planning process for closure and rehabilitation throughout the life of a mine.

In Queensland, mines are required to develop what is called a Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) for the construction and operational stages of a mine.  The SIMP is undertaken in addition to an environmental impact statement (EIS) which has a robust stakeholder consultation component.  The

Designing for closure should commence during the earliest stages of mine.  A good example of how this was done well is at the Clermont thermal coal mine owned by Glencore/Xstrata and Sumitomo (2015).  The known life of the mine at construction was 15 years.  The Glencore community relations team began planning for closure during construction.  Construction began in 2007 and the first shipment of coal was delivered in 2010.  The mine makes a wide range of community contributions to help meet the needs of all residents, including local Aboriginal groups.  However, the mine is being careful not to create dependency on the income from the mine for the overall health of the community after closure.  Community reference groups are met with on a regular basis to keep an open and constructive dialogue open so that any concerns or ideas can be addressed by both the community and the mine as they emerge.

Submitted:  09.03.2016; Dr Carol Bond, Corinne Unger

Resources:

Social Impact Assessment (Queensland Government, 2010)

Environmental Impact Assessment (Queensland Government, 2015)

Richard Parsons, Aleta Lederwasch and Kieren Moffatt, 2013, "Clermont Preferred Future:  Stakeholder Reflections on a Community Foresight and Planning Initiative", Resources, 2, 528-554.  doi:10.3390/resources2040528.

Created by Carol Bond on 2017/01/31 14:50
    
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