There is a growing awareness of the need to consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters at the commencement and operational phases of the Mine Life. Several ESG frameworks have been developed which can be utilized during these stages. However, often when an ore body becomes depleted or uneconomic, ESG matters are cast aside with the focus on financial matters and a rapid exit driving decision making. Unfortunately, many of these closed or abandoned mines across the world have resulted in ongoing social harm, environmental impacts or legacy problems for the surrounding community. It is these poor legacy sites upon which the mining industry has been judged, creating reputation damage and slowing or preventing access to new mines. However, there are other options, and two case studies will be presented from Australia and Indonesia which incorporated ESG matters in the decisions on closure planning and repurposing to create lasting benefits for the adjacent Indigenous peoples.
Dr Geraldine McGuire is the Managing Director of Sustainable Solutions Global (SSG), an environmental and social performance consulting business. The head office of SSG is in regional Australia, Far North Queensland and they have collaborators based in Indonesia, Laos and PNG. Geraldine has over 30 years of experience in the mining and resources industry and has worked on transformative projects throughout Australia, Asia and the Pacific developing solutions which balance economic, environmental, and social aspects to achieve enduring outcomes. Geraldine especial expertise is in the rehabilitation and repurposing of complex mine projects and is committed to the alleviation of poverty of rural communities and Indigenous peoples through effective development and sound environmental management. She believes in empowerment and capacity building of minority groups through transparent, humane and gender balanced practices.