Growing focus on social transitioning in mine closure

While 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.

This is according to Jessica Edwards, senior social scientist at SRK Consulting, who presented at the recent 13th International Conference on Mine Closure.

Edwards explains that social transitioning is a vital aspect of mine closure that can no longer be ignored. And, this also was the clear message from the conference, held in Perth, Australia, earlier last month.

“Social acceptance of mining continues to be a challenge, not only during operations but also after closure,” said Edwards. She 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.

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