An Overview of Mining and the Environment in Western Australia

Authors: Roche, C & Mudd, G

Intro: This chapter identifies and explores the common environmental effects of mining in Western Australia (WA). Utilising unique state-specific data, we examine site-specific factors with reference to metals, mine life cycle, cumulative impacts and temporal disturbance. Emerging trends are discussed with specific reference to WA including in relation to production, ore grades, waste, scale, socio-environmental issues and mine legacy impacts. Finally we explore the constraints on effective environmental management imposed by the WA approach to mining development and discuss challenges for the effective environmental management of mining.

(in) Resource Curse or Cure (Brueckner, Durey, Mayes, Pforr)
In June 2011, the Sustainable Regions and Communities Working Group at Curtin University, Western Australia (WA), held a workshop examining the challenges and opportunities for sustainable wealth creation in Western Australia. Unsurprisingly, with WA being one of the world’s largest resource provinces, much discussion centred around mining and its economic contributions as well as its social and environmental costs. The presentations and stimulating discussions on the day gave rise to this book’s ‘resource curse or cure?’ theme. This edited collection continues the conversation begun over three decades ago in State, capital and resources in the north and west of Australia by Elizabeth Harman and Brian Head. We hope this volume will contribute to, and expand, the much-needed debate on resource-led development in the state. While this is a book about WA, the issues addressed in this volume speak to the broader development and globalisation effects experienced nationally and indeed internationally. The contributions show WA’s embeddedness within global markets and its local effects. This volume highlights the centrality of the periphery that is WA.

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