The business model for the mine lifecycle has not significantly evolved since the early 20th century.  This has led to largely linear and generally introspective concepts of mining developed under a political economy focussed on industrial transformation and market economics. 

Financing, performance metrics, design and planning parameters determine 80% of the investment priorities and are set in place before construction commences.   These are designed to prioritise return on investment through productivity and efficiency.  As a consequence, progress towards regional sustainability can be inhibited and a “them” and “us” mentality has emerged – between miners (who operate mines) and the community and environment (who experience the effect of mines).   This in turn limits the ability for mining to adapt and develop creative solutions to changing expectations throughout the mine lifecycle.  In consequence, actions and decisions taken during exploration and operations are affecting both the ability to close existing mines and open new ones.

This Theme will propose approaches that will bridge across the full lifecycle to achieve effective closure and post-closure transitions.  It will focus on developing decision making and planning tools that  prioritise non-market value, community perspectives and sustainability outcomes alongside the financial market.