Mining communities, particularly those entirely dependent on mineral resources, are
especially vulnerable to economic downturn due to the nonrenewable nature of the industry
and reliance on external market factors. For residents who live in mining towns and
have strong ties to the industry, the loss of major employment deals a particularly
devastating blow. Research has shown that mining creates a particular sense of identity
and community, which persists long after the resource is exhausted. Although much
research has been conducted on how communities adapt to and cope with closure, little
is known about the role that identity and sense of community play in this process.
Around the world, mining developments bring significant prosperity to communities,
regions, and countries with several actors depending on the industry for economic
stability. Without an understanding of the many ways mining communities adapt to closure,
we are unable to use this knowledge to help resource-dependent regions persevere through
eras of economic bust and resource-based turbulence.