Authors: Hattingh, R; Bothma, J


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Hattingh, R & Bothma, J 2013, 'Taking the risk out of a risky business: a land use approach to closure planning', in M Tibbett, AB Fourie & C Digby (eds), Mine Closure 2013: Proceedings of the Eighth International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Cornwall, pp. 15-23,

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Closure planning is an integral but sometimes forgotten aspect of life-of-mine planning. And for those mining houses that do put the required effort into formulating appropriate, practical closure objectives, these are often guided by environmental, social, financial and reputation-related risks to the company and are not necessarily the most suitable required end-state for the area. However, more and more emphasis is being placed on the need for dedicated, upfront land use planning to identify the most suitable post-mining end land use/s prior to the initiation of mining operations, as well as on the importance of this land use approach to the sustainability of the closure approach adopted. Understanding the post-mining closure environment requires a good grasp on the end-state land use, which influences the formulation of closure objectives and associated measures, closure cost estimates as well as cost implications during the remaining operational phase and the direction of creative solutions, along with providing transparent commitment towards affected parties/stakeholders. Furthermore, understanding the opportunities and constraints of the possible post-mining landscapes, whether they are environmentally and/or socially driven, empowers an operation to identify the most practical, cost-effective solutions for the post-mining landscape, most of which can be implemented during the operational phase, whilst creating opportunities for those communities remaining after final site relinquishment.

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