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Sustainability Based Decision-Making in the Mining Sector

Yaylaci, Evren D.
Düzgün, Hafize Şebnem
The mining sector has conflicting characteristics with the sustainability concept and because of this; the sector faces difficulties to get social-license to operate in many cases. Even there are different tools and methodologies are available for minimizing and avoiding the negative impacts of the sector on the environment, society and economies at the project-level, strategic-level assessment is also needed for preventing the potential sustainability unsound projects. However, even strategic level assessment tools are available, the mining sector specific quantified, systematic, time- and cost-effective implementation methodologies are lacking. In fact, such methodologies can contribute to operationalization and integration of the sustainability concept into the decision making of the mining sector planning at the plan and program levels. Regarding this, in this paper, an indicator based sustainability assessment framework is applied for evaluating the sustainability levels of the coal mining plan alternatives in Afsin-Elbistan Coal Basin (AECB) in Turkey. The sustainability levels of the alternatives are determined by using two different weighting methods, equal weighting and analytical-hierarchy process, for two different sustainability criteria. The results of both weighting methods for two different sustainability criteria indicate that no-action alternative should be selected for preventing the degradation of the sustainability level in AECB.