The Toxic Management of Mining Legacies

Mine rehabilitation and mine closure are 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.

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


00:00   Introductions and Welcome to Country
08:04   Trauma within Indigenous Sámi Communities – Rebecca Lawrence
10:25   Rehabilitation Discourse – Dave Sweeney
15:25   Difficulty of Quantifying the Issue – Mia Pepper
21:22   Language Behind Mining – Gavin Mudd
27:12   Learning from the Most ‘Regulated’ Mine in the World
34:03   Toxic Management of Mining Legacies
36:40   Different Cultural Understandings of Mining
43:30   Mine Design and Changes to Regulatory Systems
48:15   Positive Stories from Communities Reclaiming Power
53:08   How Can Communities Rehabilitate and Engage More Effectively?
1:01:50 Mining Rehabilitation Bonds
1:06:38 Is Australia the Leader in Mining Governance?
1:10:13 Mining’s Impact on Underground Water Sources
1:13:10 Is this an Intergenerational Equity Issue of Species-Scale Proportions?
1:19:50 Closing Statements


Dr Rebecca Lawrence, Sydney Environment Institute
Associate Professor Gavin Mudd, RMIT University
Mia Pepper, Murdoch University
Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation
Charles Roche (Chair), Minerals Policy Institute, Murdoch University

This event was held in partnership with the Mineral Policy Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation at the University of Sydney on Thursday 26 September, 2019.

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