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Public participation in mine life-cycle transitions – Sarah Mackenzie, SMI at The University of Queensland

This video presents research conducted by Dr Jo-Anne Everingham, Dr Kamila Svobodova, Dr Kathy Witt and Sarah Mackenzie within CSRM under the Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium.

Mining companies have long recognised the value of public participation in generating useful information and insights as well as building relationships and mutual understanding with communities affected by their operations. At the outset, the focus is on building relationships with the perspective of being present in a community for many years. But when the focus is on mine closure, the emphasis, and potentially those affected, shifts, and public participation becomes about how to manage the change brought about by the departure of an entity that has become a significant element of the community. This research project aimed to explore through a desktop review, what participatory processes are being used or could potentially be used to achieve a socially just transition and a positive social legacy.

This short overview gives some key highlights from the project that will be presented in more depth at the Life of Mine Conference in 2021.


Sarah Mackenzie,
Research Manager, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland

Sarah Mackenzie is an international development professional with deep field experience in Africa and Latin America. Based in Burkina Faso for five years, Sarah began collaborating with mineral exploration companies in 2011 as the country’s gold mining sector boomed, working across Burkina Faso, Niger, Liberia, Botswana and Ivory Coast. Her current areas of disciplinary expertise include community engagement, community development, social investment, and gender as a cross-cutting theme across various phases of the mine life cycle. Since joining SMI, Sarah has been involved in research within the Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium as well as research projects in Burkina Faso, Government capacity building in Niger, and community relations training programs in Australia, Chile , Mexico and Peru. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History from Auckland University and a Master of Science in Development Management from the Open University in the UK.

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