Rademeyer, B & Le Roux, T 2008, 'Mine Infrastructure Planning and Design for Closure — Integrating Sustainable Post-Closure Land-Use from the Outset into the Design of Mine Infrastructure', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett, I Weiersbye & P Dye (eds), Mine Closure 2008: Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 255-267, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/852_24
When warehouse-like facilities such as offices, workshops, change- and lamp rooms are planned only to be
functional, they can quite easily result in structures that are architecturally mundane and uninspiring, and
visually intrusive. Ugly structures have a negative aesthetic impact and can limit other land uses within the
zone of visual influence. Mining structures are, more often than not, erected for immediate purposes, with
little or no consideration for aesthetic value or use, post-closure. Apart from the negative visual impact,
other problems arise once mines are decommissioned and the infrastructure is dismantled and removed.
What remains are disturbed surfaces and structures which, upon abandonment, go to ruin. A fresh,
innovative planning model is needed whereby the injection of capital into infrastructure development for
mining activities can be seen as a catalyst for the introduction of values, spaces and places for people that
are not without meaning or aesthetic value after mine closure. This paper investigates mining as a temporary
intervention, focusing on more sustainable and contextually apt end land-uses after mine closure. In this
regard, a need exists for a design model that stipulates guidelines for sustainable mine planning with
solutions to local social, environmental and infrastructural problems. A new approach is required to
counteract the negative and exploitative impacts of mining on a social and biophysical level.
We describe the application of integrated planning and design principles to a proposed platinum mining
operation, the result of which is a hypothetical mine layout and architectural design for a real project
formerly known as the Kruidfontein project, North West Province, South Africa. The project area is located
on the northern periphery of the Pilanesberg National Park, stretching over several farms and
approximately ten thousand hectares. Although the proposed Kruidfontein project has sufficient economic
platinum ore reserves to support mining activities for several decades, and has the potential to earn
significant foreign exchange, employ people and consume local goods and services, it will negatively impact
on ecosystem goods and services, and could negatively impact on several strategic tourism initiatives in the
region, one of which includes a proposal to link the Pilanesberg National Park with the Madikwe Game
Reserve. A significant portion of the proposed mining project overlaps with a part of the proposed regional
Heritage Park Corridor development. The challenge was therefore to plan and design the mine
infrastructure to meet the short-term requirements during mining, resulting in economic prosperity, as well
as to fulfill the longer term requirements imposed by the heritage corridor development that could open up
an important tourism node and conservation area for the North West Province. An understanding of mine
layout and building materials constraints provided the knowledge base for integrating the mine
infrastructure from the outset with a pre-determined post-closure end land use. Case studies, conceptual site
plans and layouts, and detailed designs and drawings for achieving this goal are presented in this paper.
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Department of Industry Tourism and Resources.
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