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Home › PublicationsCapturing local citizens' perceptions of mine closure in Mongolia and assessing the socio-economic mine closure (SEMC) framework

Capturing local citizens' perceptions of mine closure in Mongolia and assessing the socio-economic mine closure (SEMC) framework

Paper from the Proceedings of Mine Closure Solutions 2014 conference held in Ouro Preto, Brazil, April 26-30, 2014. (downloadable PDF).

Authors: André Xavier, Marcello Veiga, and Dirk van Zyl, University of British Columbia, Canada

Published by InfoMine Inc. 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-9917905-4-8

Abstract

This paper introduces and assesses the socio-economic mine closure (SEMC) framework. The assessment of the framework included an online survey that was distributed to 151 experts invited to provide feedback on the elements and subelements of the proposed SEMC framework. A field investigation was also done in Mongolia, where people from Bayangol and Mandal cities were invited to participate. One of the objectives of the case study investigation was to identify and assess the initiatives implemented by a mine company that were intended to reduce the undesired socio-economic consequences of mine closure on local communities and local governments. The fieldwork also aimed to capture and assess the perceptions of local residents about the success of these initiatives. The study indicates that it would be relevant, timely, and appropriate for the mining industry to introduce, discuss, and adopt the proposed SEMC framework. The case study analysis found that several initiatives were proposed, implemented, and supported by the company, but a too-close relationship with the local governments overshadowed many of these initiatives, preventing local residents from seeing what the company has been doing in terms of community investment. For example, a cultural center and gymnasium were built with the company’s financial support and afterwards donated to the local government; however, local residents believe the mining company should also be responsible for maintaining and renovating these facilities. Some of the existing programs available in these communities, such as the microcredit program, should be reviewed because of a lack of transparency and limited accessibility. Despite the fact that people appreciate the mining company’s support in building infrastructure, the interviews and group sessions reveal that local residents expect more focus on the development of small businesses and the creation of jobs. Another finding of the study is that engagement and participation of local residents is limited and people want to have a say in the decisions that affect the community. They expect to be told in advance how and where the money donated by the mining company to the community is invested.


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