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Evaluating the mine plan alternatives with respect to bottom-up and top-down sustainability criteria

Yaylaci, Evren Deniz
Düzgün, Hafize Şebnem
The previous researches on sustainability evaluation for the mining sector indicate that the tailor-made integrated frameworks should have the capabilities of integrating the stakeholder-focused information as effectively as operational information into the evaluation and reporting process. In this regard, this paper proposes an indicator-based quantitative evaluation framework for integrating the concerns and priorities of the local stakeholders into the evaluation of sustainability in the mining sector operations and/or plans. The proposed framework allows one for assessing how the sustainability evaluation outcomes may differ if the project specific concerns and priorities are determined by the local stakeholders or by the operational reporting party, like the mining company or the planning authority. The proposed framework is implemented with the case study of Afsin-Elbistan Coal Basin (AECB) in Turkey. The future mine plan alternatives and current operations in AECB are evaluated and compared in terms of locals' and decision-makers' sustainability criteria. The results of the study show that the level of sustainability in the AECB, in other words, the contribution of the mining sector operations to sustainable development in the AECB diverse considerably based on the used sustainability criteria for the analysis. Therefore, consideration of the local sustainability criteria is necessary in order to prevent the unsound actions in terms of sustainability and contribute the sustainable development at the local-level.