Log in

Create a user profile using your existing professional profile on LinkedIn, Academia, or ResearchGate.

Alternatively, register a username and password to start an account.

By creating an account you will be able to contribute articles, engage in discussion groups, network with fellow professionals and businesses, and receive interest-related alerts.

Forgot Password

Please enter your email address below and you will receive a temporary link to re-activate your account

Post-mining land use opportunities in developing countries

A review

Article image

D. Limpitlaw, A. Briel

01 November 2014

The Journal of The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy


Mining Towns Librarian

Journal article

Municipal Capability & Partnership Programme

United States of America, South Africa, Congo, Canada, Australia

The origins of mine closure practice have influenced the way in which it is implemented by companies and regulators. Mine closure practices essentially started developing in the 1970s in countries with advanced economies and mature mining industries. In these settings, the emphasis was justifiably placed on restoration of the landscape and an attempt was made to return to the ‘natural’ pre-mining land cover. These practices continued to evolve and incorporated socio-economic and cultural aspects, especially after the Brundtland Report in 1987 and the subsequent Earth Summit in 1992.

Today mining is increasingly occurring in remote parts of developing countries where there may be significant need for infrastructure such as roads, clinics, and schools. The costs of returning land to low (economic) value pre-mining use may be far greater than establishing a viable post-mining land use that could potentially add value to the community and take pressure off sites for greenfield development elsewhere. Furthermore, natural resource limitations (such as top soil availability) may limit the degree to which the historical land cover can be re-established. Establishing post-mining land uses may aid in mitigating the loss of employment that is inevitable when mines close.


Stakeholder participation in establishing post-mining land cover and land use options is critical for long-term success. Similarly, third parties must be identified to support the development of the post-mining land use. This paper draws on the experience of the authors in several developing countries and presents a case for maximizing re-use of mining infrastructure. The paper does not advocate the adoption of poor rehabilitation standards, nor the wholesale destruction of land capability, but rather leaving key infrastructure in place for post-mining use that may support sustainable development.

This resource is part of the Mining Towns Collection kindly sponsored by the Municipal Capability and Partnership ProgrammeAbstract based on source.


Website References



Built environment



Developing countries

Economic development

Economics and development


Human settlements


Land cover

Land use

Mine closures

Mine rehabilitation

Mining Towns

Mining Towns Collection


Poverty & inequality

Social development

Social facilities

South Africa

Stakeholder engagement


United States of America

View Contributors:


No comments available