At the end of their first full year of operations, the CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) held their first partner Forum across three days in November and December. With over 70 partner organisations across six stakeholder groups, it was a tremendous opportunity to come together virtually, share knowledge, and contribute to the development of new projects.
The Hon. Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources and Water opened the Forum and reminded attendees how closure for one company may be a beginning for another. The Forum hosted many high profile guest speakers, facilitated panel sessions and held a number of participatory workshops covering:
The role of mine closure intangibles in ESG implementation and achieving net benefits
· Understanding values in post-mining economies
· Cumulative regional impact assessment
· Innovation through demonstration and trial sites
· Implementing technology for positive impact
· Innovating supply chains
A key theme to emerge from the Forum was that if people are going to support mines coming online, they need to be confident that those mines will be responsibly closed. This includes if there are changes in financial or environmental circumstances and mines need to close early. By thinking about closure earlier, it allows for planning to enable better outcomes for communities. There is a key insight here: not planning for closure leads to missing out on the benefits of effective closure – there is an opportunity cost.
Other emerging themes included:
· Creating connections across stakeholder groups is critical to creating better outcomes beyond the mine
· Mining is critical to our nation and our everyday lives and the transition of a mine from one use to another provides a space for opportunity
· Honest brokers and active facilitation are needed with strong vision development
· Tenure, planning and relationships are critical to connect community, mining and government together well before and through a closure transition
· Re-purposing opportunities are many and varied, and need to be designed within the geographic and social context
· Regional planning, cumulative impact and mine closure is a new and emerging space that needs support and innovation
· Australia’s mining regions are diverse but share challenges and opportunities presented by mine closure transitions
The 2021-2024 CRC TiME Strategic Plan was launched at the start of the Forum by CRC TiME CEO, Dr Guy Boggs and the Annual Report and Annual Financial Statements were released at the CRC TiME 2021 AGM which was held at the end of the Forum.
For partners and special guests lucky enough to be in Perth and Brisbane, there were also in-person Forum networking events which was for many, the first time they had met fellow colleagues and project participants. More information on the Forum is available here and videos of the sessions are being made available directly to CRC TiME partners.