Enduring community value from mining: Measuring the employment impacts of mine closure for remote communities and considering issues for transformation

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Boyd Dirk Blackwell
Jim McFarlane
Andy Fischer


Tracking and mapping the employment impacts from mine closure forms an important element in planning for the economic transformation of remote communities and delivering enduring value from mining. This paper presents the results from two case studies of the employment impacts from mine closure: 1) the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory and 2) the Leigh Creek coal mine in South Australia. The impacts for both locations are significant and link to a number of supporting industries, particularly construction, but also more broadly across other sectors of the economy. The spatial impacts are principally felt locally, but are also distributed more broadly at regional, state and national scales because of modern-day work commuting practices. Loss of jobs and associated income to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also significant. Developing policy options to prepare for managing imminent mine closures in remote locations requires careful analysis of the structure of the local economy, within the context of a globalised world, in order to help identify sustainable transformation opportunities for these remote communities.

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Author Biographies

Boyd Dirk Blackwell, CRC for Remote Economic Participation, University of New England

UNE Business School, Principal Research Leader (Enduring Community Value from Mining)

Jim McFarlane, University of New England

UNE Business School, PhD Scholar

Andy Fischer, University of Tasmania

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Lecturer