Authors: Maier, A; Finisdore, J; Gimber, C

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Maier, A, Finisdore, J & Gimber, C 2023, 'Considering natural capital in mining, and its implications for mine closure', 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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Better incorporation of ‘nature positive concepts’ into mine closure practices can improve the management of risks and opportunities arising from the sector’s impact and dependence on nature, delivering value to companies. Nature positive concepts—the range of efforts from Science Based Target for nature to improved biodiversity monitoring to the implementation of natural climate solutions—help ensure that businesses align with the planetary boundaries. As we approach and cross these boundaries (e.g., 1.5 degrees increase in temperatures, 50-60% of natural ecosystem area) due to excessive emissions of greenhouse gases, unchecked conversion of ecosystems, among other impacts, nature is becoming an increasingly material risk to businesses. Because of the dependence and impact that mining has on nature, nature is especially material to the sector as it drives material risks and opportunities. In response, several efforts have been launched to better integrate these concepts into mining practices. Frameworks such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science Based Target for nature and corporate natural capital accounting are among them. They are complemented by industry specific efforts including TNFD guidelines for mining and numerous cross sector guides. However, none address how nature positive concepts can be directly integrated into mine closure. Ten nature positive concepts are described and placed into the International Council for Mining and Minerals’ Integrated Closure Planning framework (ICP). Firms can identify the internal procedure that most closely aligns with each step of the ICP and integrate the respective nature positive concept into it. This is a pragmatic way to operationalise nature positivity in closure, improving the management of nature related risks and opportunities, delivering value to corporations.

Keywords: nature positive; natural capital; biodiversity; no net loss; net positive impact; mitigation hierarchy; TNFD; SBTs for nature; environmental markets; mine closure

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