Bringing biodiversity back: Biodiversity management at the stage of open-cast mine closure

Vera Braun, Technical University of Dresden
Remmer Sassen, Technical University of Dresden

Research Context:
Throughout the life cycle of a mining project, mining activity, especially of open-cast mines, directly impacts biodiversity through land clearance and emissions (Borial & Heras-Saizarbitoria, 2017a, 2017b; Ekstrom et al., 2015; IMCC, 2006). Mine closure offers the opportunity to rehabilitate biodiversity affected by activities during the project developing and operation stages. Therefore, it is particular important to adopt biodiversity management at the closure stage. To consider the broader perspective of post-closure land use, stakeholders should be involved in the early stage of the closure process (ICMM, 2006).

Research questions: This research focuses on the closure and restoration of open-cast mines. Three research questions guide this study.

Q1: What drivers and barriers face mining companies to apply biodiversity management at the closure stage?

Q2: What biodiversity management strategies are frequently employed for developing post-mining areas?

Q3: How are stakeholders involved in planning and implementing biodiversity management strategies for open-cast mine closure?

Methodology: A systematic review is applied in accordance with Denyer & Tranfield (2009). Keywords and databases are chosen prior to the search to locate literature regarding the topic. In addition, including and excluding criteria are set to select relevant literature from the identify body of literature.

Results: Results are presented in two ways. A descriptive analysis is conducted to illustrate key categories, a thematic analysis is carried out to map and connect central findings of the literature analysis.

Discussion: Findings are discussed with regards to the research questions, and the lack of information is highlighted. In addition, implications for companies and political decision-makers are derived from the results. Moreover, quality and limitations of the research approach are discussed and future research potential is suggested.