ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mine Closures and the Issue of Livelihood

Mining communities are the worst affected by mine closures since they derive their livelihood directly or indirectly from the industry. In order to analyse the shift in the livelihoods of people during and after mining operations, different stakeholders of Hindustan Zinc Limited in Sargipali, Odisha across 24 mining villages were interviewed, and additional evidence was taken from documents and reports. A grim picture emerges, owing to the lack of a sustainable mine closure plan or transparency between the planners and the villagers.

The author is thankful to the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi for financial support. Thanks are also due to D Narasimha Reddy, Kalpana Kannabiran, D P Tripathy, P Oskarsson, Prajna Paramita Mishra, and Harish Chandra Mishra for their valuable feedback and suggestions at different stages, and Nata Kishor Mishra, Samima Begum, and Sachin Biswakarma for fieldwork coordination. An earlier version of this article has been presented at the International Conference on Promoting Socio-Economic Equity in South Asia: Challenges and Prospects, held on 15–16 July 2015 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Mine closure in India—and its impact on the livelihood of the concerned communities—is one of the several important mining issues that have not been properly addressed over a period of time.

Mine closure occurs as a result of the total extraction of the mineral reserves within the physical limits of a deposit or un-workability of the deposit due to technical or economic reasons. (Tripathy 2004: 345)

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Updated On : 22nd Oct, 2018
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