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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1705; doi:10.3390/su9101705

Sustainable Post-Mining Land Use: Are Closed Metal Mines Abandoned or Re-Used Space?

Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland, P. O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Sustainable land use in post-mining areas has received more attention only recently. This study examined landscape characteristics and post-mining land use in 51 metal mining sites in Finland. Studied mines were closed during the period of 1924–2016, and over half of them had been active more than 10 years. Mines were typically located in sparsely populated forest landscapes. Cultural and recreational functions were found in one third of the sites, especially in significant historical mining areas close to the population centers. Further, nearly one third of the post-mining sites included new activities related to industry and infrastructure. The diversity of post-mining functions was generally limited in small and isolated sites. Re-opening of five closed mines was planned or under development, and exploration permits (or claims) were applied or admitted for half of the post-mining areas. The results showed that every closed mine is unique and thus, sustainable post-mining land use requires careful evaluation of potentials and limitations (e.g., contamination and other hazards) of the sites. Increasing sizes of new mining projects calls for paying more attention on future post-mining landscapes in order to avoid degraded and underused areas from environmental, social and economic perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: extractive industries; Finland; industrial landscapes; land use; metal mines; mining legacies; post-mining extractive industries; Finland; industrial landscapes; land use; metal mines; mining legacies; post-mining
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kivinen, S. Sustainable Post-Mining Land Use: Are Closed Metal Mines Abandoned or Re-Used Space? Sustainability 2017, 9, 1705.

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