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Project 3.1

Integration of biophysical aspects of mine closure planning

Project 3.1 Final Report

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Research Program

Operational Solutions

Project Leader

Dr Claire Cote

Project ID



This project is developing a system-level description of the biophysical aspects of mine closure plans, providing an overview of the relevant topological relationships and inter-dependencies (feedback loops) between the biophysical aspects, and investigating whether the concept of Source-Pathway-Receptor (SPR) provides an adequate framework for defining system-level variables that can be used to predict the behaviour of the system for a range of scenarios. The SPR concept has its origins in environmental engineering to describe the flow of environmental pollutants from a source, through different pathways to potential receptors. It is anticipated that it can be adapted to the context of mine closure planning.

The research hypothesis to be tested in this project is: ‘adopting a system-level approach will facilitate communication and comprehension of the closure planning process; identify the critical data sets that will contribute to the knowledge base; guide the timeframe for implementation of detailed and complex technical studies; and achieve alignment in the expectations of stakeholders’.

Project Partners

University of Queensland


12 months – Completed