Authors: Anderson, D; Foot, D; Bonilla, T

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Anderson, D, Foot, D & Bonilla, T 2023, 'Creating shared value and positive legacies from a transitional working landscape in Panama', in B Abbasi, J Parshley, A Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2023: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth,

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This case study documents the early formative steps a private mining and land development firm is taking on its journey to co-create a post-mining vision with stakeholders in Central Panama. The term ‘mine closure’ is intentionally avoided to shift our planning focus away from liabilities and closure of the mine towards creating opportunities from the continuous transitioning of a landscape. In so doing, creative design energies are redirected to catalysing socio-economic diversification early on and in tandem with mine development. Using a novel application of Systemic Design techniques to the mining context, we demonstrate how the conventional strategic mine planning function for the company has been replaced with a transitional landscape planning approach, placing greater emphasis on progressive rehabilitation and the value it can bring to the community. Nearly every technical and strategic design decision has been influenced by collaborative dialogues with stakeholders over several decades. Corporate expertise in real estate development, mining, energy, and agriculture is being leveraged to develop the Mina Santa Rosa project and other private land holdings as shared spaces from which diverse, long-term socio-economic activity can be incubated. Each ‘Shared Space Initiative’ will be co-designed with the community and regional partners, with a special emphasis on engaging students from primary school through university in the design, monitoring, and care of these properties. ‘Shared Opportunity Ventures' will establish satellite enterprises with local entrepreneurs and regional partners to generate benefits from all extracted materials including waste rock as aggregate, mill fines and rock dust as soil amendments, and paste tailings for a range of industrial applications. Finally, a collaborative research agenda is being drafted to facilitate the effective transitioning of the Mina Santa Rosa mine to a multi-functional and resilient production landscape that will improve food security in the region while supporting native biodiversity. By examining how each corporate decision has been reshaped by stakeholder input, we hope to inspire further debate, inquiry, and co-innovation that will leave a positive legacy long after ‘the last ounce is poured.’

Keywords: shared value; systemic design; post-mining land uses; stakeholder engagement; integrated landscape management; agroecosystems; transitional working landscapes; tropical permaculture

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