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Driving Policy in Mine Closure and Abandonment Management, Environmental Risk mitigation and Rehabilitation of Abandoned Mine Sites as a Pro-Poor Development Strategy


Program Duration: 2013-2015

Donor: Australian Aid (AUSAid)

Donation: AUS$ 65,000

Program Contacts for ATPS: Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director,

ATPS. Email: 

Program Coordinator: Associate Prof Angus Morrison-Saunders (Principal Investigator), Murdoch University.


The African Technology Policy Studies Network [ATPS] in partnership with Murdoch University, Witwatersrand and Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum has rolled out a project that seeks to address these fundamental concerns by assessing how Western Australia’s (WA) on-going innovation in the mining sector may benefit African countries engaged in mining activities including South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania.

The project aims to:

  1. Determine what regulation, policy and securities systems exist for managing mine closure and minimizing risks of enduring harm in South Africa, Nigeria Mozambique, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania (selected countries that have both large abandoned mine legacy issues and /or are emerging extractive-intensive countries).
  2. Determine the current environment and health risks and costs associated with selected abandoned mines in the mature and emerging extractive – focused countries and
  3. Ascertain how reforms and environmental closure standards can attract and retain mining investment, benefiting mining companies, governments and communities and improving the interdependent security of all three (as a mining sector model).

The role of ATPS 

The principal role of ATPS in this project relates to the administration of the capacity building subprogram through the established mentorship programs and support of the communication implementation of the project. Specifically, ATPS will use its existing structured capacity building programs: the Women Innovation Challenge (We Can) and the youth Innovation Challenge (Y I Can) to identify suitable candidates to participate in the mentorship program.

The expected Project Outcomes include:

  1. Project reports for selected countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania
  2. Completed detailed Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Cost-Benefit Analyses (CBAs) quantifying and qualifying selected abandoned mine sites collated to inform policy makers and the international community.
  3. Analysis and review of the elements of innovative Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) legislation (and the preconditions necessary) for appropriate adaptation for the selected countries. 
  4. A consolidated framework that can be replicated by any country (with a proviso for modifications taking into account specific local conditions or circumstances).