On May 16, Francisca Rivero presented a keynote during the Planning for Closure 2002 congress titled Transitions and Challenges of Mine Closure: What Else do we Need to Learn? in which she proposes an integral overview of closure, as seen from the social aspects of closure. “The process of mine closure from a social perspective implies taking responsibility of a series of transitions –social, economic and environmental– which do not refer only to changes and transformation of the closure of mine site itself” comments Francisca. She, alongside the social researchers’ team at SMI-ICE-Chile work on community relations projects in this and other stages of the mine lifecycle.
Her presentation focused on how during the last years the industry has made great efforts on understanding the scope brought about when viewing social aspects of mine closure. However, Francisca explains that there are multiple items from which to learn regarding transitions, a process that may pose challenges for both communities and companies.

Fabiola Sifuentes, Vice-President of Health, Safety and Environment at Compañía Minera Antamina, Peru and Francisca Rivero from SMI-ICE-Chile during Planning for Closure 2022

First, explains the researcher, we need to understand the differentiated impacts of closure, of which gender is a key dimension to note and learn how this group responds to social and economic aspects that may affect their specific wellbeing. Keeping an updated information database about people who live in the territory not only contributes to know them and about them and their needs, but allows for a follow up about the scope of actions and their results throughout time.
Secondly, she emphasises the importance of knowing about the lessons learned locally and internationally which allows for a social knowledge base. This process of study and evaluation should, in the best scenario, be consolidated during the initial phase of a mine operation. And thirdly, but no less important, is the learning awarded by the long-term study of intergenerational impacts by the mine’s presence in a determined territory, specially focused on how this impacts trajectory, offers opportunities, and directly effects lifestyle, practices and customs locally.
In a certain way, planning closure from a social perspective, implies being responsible for intergenerational impacts as well as designing a legacy, keeping in mind what will come in post-closure stages. It is a consolidation of a long process that must guarantee wellbeing and a good standard of living for communities which are integral part of an operation during its lifecycle, and which will endure beyond the temporary industrial process of the land.


For more information, contact Francisca Rivero or the SMI-ICE-Chile social team: https://smiicechile.cl/en/team/

Planning for Closure 2022 was organised by the Centre for Mining of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, SMI-ICE-Chile and Gecamin. For more information visit gecamin.com/planningforclosure/