Exploring integrated socio-technological approaches for adaptive land-uses in mining economies 

Integrative mine closure across the technical, environmental, and social spheres require a deep understanding of the system interactions. This research project proposes to explore the interconnectedness of the social and scientific paradigms between community, government and corporate stakeholders in mine closure, so that new and innovative post-closure land use options can be evaluated and tested. 

Specific focus will be placed to understand the challenges and processes of benign biophysical recovery technologies, such as agromining (phytoextraction) and bioprocessing (bioleaching, biodigestion, biobeneficiation). This technical knowledge will be combined with desk and field studies examining socioeconomic considerations and best practises for integrated approvals. The study will likely explore not only the critical metals industry, but also glean insights from mature sectors with industry-wide acceptance of assessment and communication processes, such as the nuclear industry. With an applied understanding of technology and socioeconomic considerations, the scholarship will be applied to developing case studies looking towards mine repurposing in Australia.


Amelia Lee Zhi Yi is a multi-disciplinary environmental scientist with experiences in the public sector on an international and national scale. Prior to joining UQ, she worked as a consultant in nuclear emergency preparedness for food and agriculture at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and a REDD+ safeguards consultant at the Malaysian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources under the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 

She attained her Masters in Environmental Sciences from the University of Tokyo, Japan (2015), and Bachelors in Geology from Bryn Mawr College, USA (2013).


This PhD project falls within the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) Operational Solutions Research Program.


Academic collaboration is undertaken on-site at the Laboratoire Sols & Environnement, University of Lorraine (UL) in France, under the supervision of Professor Guillaume Echevarria and Dr Agnès Samper. This work is supported by the UQ SMI-UL LabEx R21 Sourcing Unconventional Critical Resource Elements (IRP SUCRE) research exchange partnership.


UQ Graduate School Research Training Scholarship
UQ-UL SUCRE International Research Partnership Scholarship


Professor Anna Littleboy and Associate Professor Glen Corder