Project Title: An integrated approach for the transformation of post-mining land use in South Africa
Research Theme:Resilient Post-mining Communities
Supervisors: Jennifer L. Broadhurst, Brett Cohen
The mine closure and post-mining phases are often when various sustainability issues come to light, environmental impacts, such as land degradation and acid mine drainage last for decades after operations cease. Socio-economic impacts are exacerbated in regions where communities are dependent on mines for employment and services, amongst other things. Worldwide, and particularly in Southern Africa, current mine closure practices are not sufficiently developed to transition mine land into environmentally and economically sustainable post‐mining landscapes, with restoration and re-vegetation of the landscape continuing to be the dominant focus. .
The objective of this research, therefore, is to interrogate the potential to integrate mine closure planning with regional land use and socio-economic planning, for the transformation of post-mining land in South Africa into an economically viable land use. Through a comprehensive review of the published literature, interviews with relevant experts and participant observation, the research intends to examine the current discourse and emerging practices around mine closure and post-mining land use. An evaluation of a case study where agriculture is the land use alternative, using fibre-producing crops due to their potential to spur economic development, will be presented.