Authors: Demajorovic, J; Xavier, A; Pimenta, AAF; Barreto, RS

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Demajorovic, J, Xavier, A, Pimenta, AAF & Barreto, RS 2022, 'Social aspects in the process of mine closure: evolution and avenues for future research agenda', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 187-198,

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Historically, the undertaking of mine closure has emphasised facility decommissioning, environmental recovery and remediation, and the adoption of measures and programs that promote the physical and chemical stability of the mining area. This fundamental concern with the physical and environmental aspects of closure allowed for the development of deep knowledge of the technical environmental issues involved. However, the integration of social aspects into the process of mine closure is a more recent theme. The effects of a mine closure on the community can persist for many years after a mine ceases operations, which causes several negative socio-economic impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of residents. This paper mainly discusses the theoretical evolution of the integration of social impacts into mine closure studies. Based on a systematic literature review on mine closure, the results show a recent trend, although still incipient, of valuing social aspects. Against this backdrop, three main analytical categories emerge from the literature when considering the social dimension of mine closure and the post-mining period: the social licence to operate, engagement and participation, and vulnerability.

Keywords: social aspects, mine closure, engagement, social licence to operate, vulnerability

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