The post-mining land use optimisation framework developed as part of this research underpins the need for examining site-specific decisions within the regional land planning context as well as in relation to the social, economic, and political perspectives within the mine’s localised planning domain. It emphasizes that the spatial and temporal planning and implementation of rehabilitation and land use-related activities remain continually changing throughout the mining life cycle. This implies that amendments, refinements or corrective action should be an integral aspect of this planning, improving the trajectory towards success as new site knowledge and learnings becomes available. Rehabilitation activities should be implemented as soon as site disturbance (construction) starts and maintained throughout the operational and decommissioning periods. More importantly, these activities remain even more pertinent to the monitoring and maintenance period, during which successful implementation of the pre-defined land use/s can be demonstrated.
Rehabilitation-, land use and mine closure plans are hence ‘living’, changing tools, aligned towards a common goal – defining a resilient post-mining landscape that will, ultimately, enable harnessing the altered landscapes’ new characteristics to optimise services to post-mining communities that either provides similar resourcing needs from the land, or alternative resources that contribute to the long-term viability of the area.
Dissertation (MSc) - University of Pretoria, 2018.