Hattingh, R, Williams, DJ & Corder, G 2019, 'Applying a regional land use approach to mine closure: opportunities for restoring and regenerating mine-disturbed regional landscapes', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 951-968.
Historically, mining companies needed to be good at one thing – mining. The end goal was also clear – mine the ore and walk away. However, as societal perspectives have shifted and communities have started to demand (and expect) functional post-mining landscapes with manageable residual liabilities, this linear business approach has needed to adapt.
Industry knowledge of the importance of the post-mining land use goal driving land rehabilitation objectives is becoming well understood. However, the capabilities of the rehabilitated land – ecologically, socially and economically, as well as stakeholder involvement in decision-making on what the rehabilitated land could supply, are considered a major challenge in mine closure planning. To edge closer to relinquishment, ‘walk away’ has turned into ‘resilient substitute landscapes’.
This paper will discuss the fundamental need for integration of mine site rehabilitation into wider regional landscape planning, towards being able to create opportunities for restoring and regenerating minedisturbed landscapes. A global perspective on current existing post-mining land uses will be provided, as well as key considerations for selection of these land uses. The importance of integrating site-specific rehabilitation plans within overarching regional land planning frameworks will also be discussed.
Keywords: land use, regional closure planning, resilient landscapes
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