Growing focus on social transitioning in mine closure

Social transitioning is a vital aspect of mine closure that can no longer be ignored. This was the clear message from the 13 International Conference on Mine Closure in Perth earlier last month.

“Social acceptance of mining continues to be a challenge, not only during operations but also after closure,” said Jessica Edwards, SRK Consulting senior social scientist. Edwards presented the paper, ‘Social aspects of mine closure: The elephant in the room’ at the conference, which she co-authored with SRK senior environmental scientist Ashleigh Maritz.

“Although there is a strong recognition that mining companies must rehabilitate the mining-impacted biophysical environment, many are still struggling to develop trust – or a social license to operate – within mine-affected communities,” Edwards said.

She noted that, even though there was general consensus that stakeholders should be engaged throughout the mine closure process, stakeholder engagement still mainly revolves around permitting processes.

Authors: Jessica Edwards | Senior Social Scientist - Ashleigh Maritz | Senior Environmental Scientist

SRK Africa