Open Cut » Environment
This research project was undertaken over two years following completion of a scoping study. The scoping study provided guidance on a number of knowledge management platforms and decision tools for sharing rehabilitation and closure knowledge as well as providing capacity for discussion forums. A wiki-based Mine Rehabilitation and Closure (MRC) knowledge platform was identified as the preferred method for providing the flexibility and functionality required by the Central Queensland Mine Rehabilitation Group (CQMRG). Through this MRC-wiki it was identified that the other decision tools and knowledge management platforms and resources could be linked and made more accessible to practitioners. The objectives of the MRC-wiki are to:
· Guide users to appropriate knowledge, decision support and other management tools already available through ACARP and other sources;
· Capture the long-term knowledge of rehabilitation practitioners and stakeholders in a rehabilitation manual and discussion forum format;
· Encourage discussion and ensure the accessibility of this unpublished knowledge in perpetuity; and
· Be able to be maintained by industry groups, such as the CQMRG over time. It is also possible that the learnings from this review could inform knowledge management in other regions, commodities and disciplines, and thus have a far wider application.
This project was aligned with ACARP's priority area of 'environment and communities' where the aim is to help increase stakeholder confidence in the industry's ability to manage mine rehabilitation and mine closure.
This ACARP report is organised into four sections. They are 1) Project Summary Report, 2) Handover Package, 3) Chronological Project Development and 4) References and Acknowledgements.
The 'Part 1 Project summary report' was written for an AusIMM Spectrum Series Publication, 'From Start to Finish, a Life of Mine Perspective' following on from a presentation to the Life of Mine conference in 2016. This has been reproduced here with permission from AusIMM.
This research paper recognises there are risks associated with knowledge loss; a particularly urgent challenge for businesses with a high potential for staff fluctuations as in the Central Queensland coal mining environment. Knowledge loss and inadequate knowledge exchange means that similar tasks were being repeated at Central Queensland mine sites without the benefit of existing knowledge, due in part to industry down-turns and retirement cycles. Members of the Central Queensland Mining Group (CQMRG) recognised that there was no process to retain and make knowledge accessible for future generations of practitioners across mining environments. Consequently, CQMRG partnered with researchers at the University of Queensland to design a mechanism for capturing and sharing knowledge. Partly in response to the anticipated change in global priorities related to coal mining, the mechanism focused on capturing and sharing knowledge on mined-land rehabilitation and closure.
The mechanism, "Mine Rehabilitation and Closure wiki" (MRC-wiki), is designed with theory and methods used by similarly composed academic-industry partnerships capturing scientific and environmental knowledge. Knowledge management theory highlights the need to use methods that motivate individuals to share their knowledge and participate voluntarily in a knowledge sharing process. Consequently, the research team gathered original data about mine rehabilitation and closure practices primarily via face-to-face workshops and interviews, supplemented by email correspondence and telephone interviews.
This paper provides insights into the development of the research project, the challenges encountered and solutions trialled. The research findings are likely to have relevance to other areas of mining-related knowledge requiring careful management of knowledge. If practitioners are going to build on past learnings, and if the industry, as a whole, is committed to demonstrating continual improvement over time, building knowledge sharing platforms such as the MRC-wiki will help the mining sector maintain its commitment to meeting both good practice and community expectations.
The 'Part 2 Handover Package' was written to provide support to the CQMRG as they take over the role of managing the MRC-wiki. The handover package includes editing and moderation guidelines for the CQMRG, including roles and responsibilities to assist the group in maintaining the wiki as it continues to have its content expanded by the practitioner network. System architecture and administration is also described. The security details themselves were handed over in a secure manner to the CQMRG, but are not included in this report as this report is publicly available. An additional Wiki Administrator's help file is also provided.
'Part 3 Chronological Project Development' provides an overview of the stages of the project, in particular the engagement process which informed the development of the wiki. Two CQMRG meeting workshops were hosted as well as several Sustainable Minerals Industry-hosted workshops to provide foundational content for the MRC-wiki. The content, structure, themes and templates to facilitate content building were developed through these engagement processes. Finally, Part 4 References and Acknowledgements includes those elements of relevance to all four parts of the report.
Having addressed each of the objectives of the MRC-wiki ACARP project, the tool is now ready for use by the CQMRG. The next step is for that Network of Knowledge to sustain and expand the tool through engagement with its members and a working group of active participants. A foundation of knowledge and a tool to support it has been built, and is ready to be expanded with new articles, discussion on existing content as well as the addition of new links as relevant references externally are linked through this platform.