Project Title: Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) of Post-Mining Economy using Sustainable Development Goals as Impact Indicator.
Supervisors: A/Prof Jennifer Broadhurst and Professor Harro von Blottnitz
The economies of mining communities are mostly dependent on the mines and this makes it a one-product economy, thus, inter alia mine closure or abandoned mines has spiral negative impact on the host communities. In the light of this, rehabilitation of abandoned mine land with fibrous plants such as kanef, bamboo, palm trees, raffia and hemp, not only presents an opportunity for agricultural land use but could also spur the development of downstream industries such as textiles, automobile components, furniture and building materials which can be produced from the plant’s fibre and stems. These fibrous plants are also known to have the potentials to restore abandoned mine land thereby promoting the socio-economic development of the mining communities, as well as enhancing environmental stewardship. In this study, a qualitative research methodology is utilised in conducting a life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) that seeks to establish the linkages between sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the post-mining economy. The LCSA in this context is used to iterate both the socio-economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities that are associated with development post-mining economy using the SDGs as impact indicators.