Authors: Svobodova, K; Owen, JR; Lebre, E; Edraki, M; Littleboy, A

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Svobodova, K, Owen, JR, Lebre, E, Edraki, M & Littleboy, A 2019, 'The multi-risk vulnerability of global coal regions in the context of mine closure', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 553-562,

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Coal mining industries face real challenges to meet legal demands on a low carbon future. The history of coal in industrial transitions seems to come to a rapid end, accompanied by widespread boom of closing active coal mining projects. This change can result in negative ramifications for coal mining regions, involving a complex interplay of multiple risks. In this paper, we aim to analyse the complexity of environmental, social, and governance factors that can cause significant difficulties in closure of coal mining operations. We identify multi-factor risk profiles for operating mines by applying spatially explicit indicators within a proposed multi-risk framework. The indicators have not been captured by conventional market, as they tend to be more long-term oriented in the context of strategy and performance. We map eight risk categories: stability, water and climate, biodiversity, vulnerability of land uses, indigenous people, social fragility, political fragility, and regulatory environment, and analyse their effect on a global dataset of active open pit coal mines. The spatial analysis reveals that a significant proportion of the projects face accumulation of multiple risk factors. A total of 552 projects out of 916 show medium to very high-risk occurrence. In this paper, we present global risk vulnerability across the coal mining projects by indicating extent to which operators of the mines face multiple risk factors when planning for closure.

Keywords: coal phase-out, ESG, multi-factor risk, rehabilitation

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