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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Socio-Economic Mine Closure (SEMC) framework : a comprehensive approach for addressing the socio-economic challenges of mine closure Xavier, André Moura


This thesis seeks to investigate the initiatives that address the socio-economic implications of mine closure that have been implemented by three mining companies which are located in Mongolia, Argentina and Canada. It further addresses the perceptions of stakeholders, specifically community members, local government representatives and mining company employees regarding the initiatives that have been implemented by three mining companies. Additionally, the research examines six mining industry-related frameworks/guidelines, and explores the ways in which these documents interpret the socio-economics of mine closure. Finally, this thesis introduces and evaluates the Socio-Economic Mine Closure (SEMC) Framework, which was originally developed as part of this PhD investigation. There are 10 elements in the Framework: Policy, Presence, Participation, Planning, Performance, Promotion, Perseverance, Patience, Passion, and Personality. The SEMC Framework is assessed in multiple ways: a) against the current literature on mine closure; b) through an online survey in which 151 experts were invited to provide feedback on the elements and sub-element constituents of the Framework and c) by its utility in constructing the fieldwork survey and the feedback of survey participants indicating the appropriateness of the framework. The study indicates that it would be relevant, timely and appropriate for the mining industry to introduce, discuss and adopt the proposed SEMC Framework. The case study analyses, all of which employed interviews, group sessions, and distribution of survey material as part of their methodological approaches, reveal that each case has unique characteristics and that all are context-based. The case studies also indicate that all three situations reveal the presence of some common issues. For instance, the results of the study suggest that, in all three cases, communication levels need to be improved and augmented. An important finding of the overall study concerns the element Personality within the SEMC Framework. Although in both the online survey and in the survey distributed to study participants, this element was ranked as one of low importance, through the interviews, group sessions and researcher observations it became clear that the Personality of the company community liaison does play a significant role in maintaining and fostering relationships between mining companies and local stakeholders.

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