Better stakeholder participation is required in mining closures

According to Jessica Edwards at mining consultancy SRK Consulting, mining companies looking to work on rehabilitation after closing mines struggle with gaining social trust and credit. The scenario is particularly challenging for South Africa, where mining closures are growing in frequency.

Reserves in South Africa are depleting and the number of mining closures in South Africa is on the rise. While experts have indicated that there are substantial untapped reserves in the country, SRK Consulting has brought the focus back to the rehabilitation processes after the closure of a mine.

Mining companies have long been engaged in efforts to reconcile with communities and ecosystems that bear the brunt of their excavation activities. The most popular measure has been to keep the various stakeholders in the mining process involved in the decision-making procedures.

However, according to Jessica Edwards of SRK Consulting, this has been met with its fair share of challenges. “Although there is a strong recognition that mining companies must rehabilitate the mining-impacted biophysical environment, many are struggling to develop trust – or a social license to operate – within mine-affected communities,” says Edwards.

Author: Jessica Edwards | Senior Social Scientist


SRK Africa