Mining Legacies

26 September 2019

Join a panel of experts as they challenge Australia’s current approach to managing mining legacies.

About this Event

This event is run in partnership with the Mineral Policy Institute and Australian Conservation Foundation.

When mines are proposed, they are typically surrounded by a host of supportive voices of proponents and political leaders who quickly associate themselves with the idea that mining will solve regional unemployment and bolster local economic activity long before a rational assessment of the proposal has been undertaken. Communities respond with different voices: some for, some against, and some ambivalent. Environmental and human rights NGOs may find collaborations with these communities – raising issues and including the local into carefully crafted national and international campaigns. In short, there often is a flurry of activity. But what happens when it’s time for a mine to be rehabilitated and close up shop?


Mine rehabilitation and mine closure is at first glance much less “spectacular” than the arrival of a new mine – there are rarely protests, blockades, or election promises when it’s time to close a mine. But it is in these apparently mundane spaces we catch a glimpse of the long-term social and environmental impacts of mining: rehabilitation failures and the slow-violence of environmental degradation; the hard work for local communities transitioning out of a resource dependent economy; and regulatory failures that lead to abandoned mines and a practice of putting mines in indefinite “care and maintenance”, which sets a precedent for mining companies to simply walk away.


Join a panel of experts as they challenge Australia’s current approach to managing mining legacies, embracing ethical, economic, environmental and social perspectives in an exploration of responsible mine closure.

Event details

Mining Legacies


RD Watt Seminar Room, RD Watt Building, Science Road, University of Sydney


26 September 2019

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