Optimising Mine Closure for Communities Options Study




Product: Agriculture, aquaculture, indigenous food options and algae
Program Phase: Options Study
ProgramPartners: BHP
Year Completed: 2019


BHP’s closure objective is to deliver optimised closure outcomes for their operated assets in consultation with local communities and other stakeholders. Optimised closure outcomes are those that minimise adverse impacts and maximise post-closure value.


To meet BHPs objectives, Business for Development was commissioned to conduct an Options Study looking at agriculture, aquaculture, indigenous food options and algae. The study explored potential solutions for alternative land and pit lake use at a particular mine site in the Pilbara. The study looked at repurposing the land to develop agriculture enterprises, providing economic and social opportunities for the local community. ​

The Options Study involved:

  • A Political, Economic, Social and Technological (P.E.S.T.) analysis to understand and evaluate macro-economic factors which can impact the development and success of an agribusiness now and in the future.
  • An Environmental Review – including water, soil, and climate – to unpack agronomically what could grow near the mine site.
  • Agronomic-focused feasibility review of what could be produced in the region considering logistics, human capital, capital investment and whether a program could be commercially competitive.
  • Interviews with key stakeholders to identify opportunities and risks.
  • An Assessment of selected product value chains, and identification and evaluation of potential demand points for the selected products.​


Due to COVID-19, the assessment of potential post-mine economy has been desktop only. BHP has advised that once feasible, the program will proceed to the next phase – working through the desktop process in consultation with local communities and key stakeholders to confirm the options for providing local economic empowerment opportunities. The project aims to ultimately develop a case study that demonstrates to the world how mining can have enduring value for communities.​

Design by HEARD Agency