ALC Research Seminars: No. 12 - What happens after mines close? The case of Uranium mine closure in Niger

The African Leadership Centre (ALC) is delighted to announce our next (online) research seminar on Tuesday 31st January 2023 at 11 am GMT/14:00 pm EAT.

The session will host a seminar presentation titled 'What happens after mines close? The case of Uranium mine closure in Niger' a presentation by Dr Penda Diallo.

Mine closure is an important topic globally. The impact of mine closure brings together interdisciplinary issues, including social, environmental, economic, and political issues. These questions have relevance both for social and natural sciences. This debate is particularly important for Africa because most mining contracts and activities have been signed without good mine closure plans. Additionally, most legislative frameworks do not have adequate mine closure policies and monitoring plans.

Drawing on fieldwork in Airlift and over 10 years of experience in Mining in Africa, this presentation will discuss the impact of mine closure on communities, and the environment in Africa. It will also discuss some of the gaps and opportunities that exist to address these issues. The discussion will be grounded in the resource curse discourse.

The presentation will focus more specifically on the impact of the closure of COMINAK-a uranium mining company which operated in Niger for over 45 years. Whilst this operation contributed to the production of energy in France, over the period of the exploitation many communities in Airlit where the uranium was extracted lived in poverty and with no electricity. Therefore, whilst the uranium from Niger has contributed to the functioning of nuclear plants in France and electricity in France for several decades, the communities in Airlit lived in poverty and darkness. Today these communities are left with the social and environmental impact of years of extraction.

 The argument of this discussion is that there is an urgent need for the African government to put in place measures to mitigate the post-mining impacts. These initiatives need to be planned for throughout the mining cycle. Additionally, there needs to be adequate multidisciplinary collaboration to effectively address some of the challenges of mine closure. The presentation aims to invite participants to collaboratively think of potential solutions to mitigate issues related to mine closure in Africa so that communities are not left with the negative social and environmental impacts of post-mining activities.

Speaker:

Dr Penda Diallo, Honorary Lecturer, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Author of Regime Stability, Social Insecurity and Bauxite Mining in Guinea: Developments Since the Mid-Twentieth Century.’

Discussant:

Dr Kialee Nyiayaana, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Social Sciences University of Port Harcourt

Chair:

 Dr Albert Mbiatem, Lecturer University of Buea, Peter Da Costa Post-Doctoral Fellow, African Leadership Centre

You can pre-register your interest to attend here

Please note, the event will NOT be recorded


 

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