Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Mining, Petroleum & Geophysics Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran



Mining and mineral industry have important role in supporting sustainable development of countries. Many countries rely on the income derived from natural resources, but the exploitation of the natural resources may impact the environment and destroy the ecosystem. Mining activities usually affect the surrounding lands and ecosystems. The natural, social, and economic environments are part of this ecosystem that are directly involved in these activities. In order to reduce environmentally destructive effects of mining on ecosystem, some important measures must be taken to minimize the negative impacts of mining and related industries. In this paper, for the first time in Iran, a study was conducted to define and categorize the reclamation criteria in three largest iron ore mines. During this research, an attempt was made to establish, define and evaluate forty reclamation criteria. Since the number of criteria is high, to adopt the best practice in mine reclamation program, these criteria should be prioritized. The defined criteria ranked by mining experts, mining managers and related university professors according to their experience and knowledge. The raw collected data were evaluated, processed by Delphi-Fuzzy process and finally analyzed using the Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) method. The prioritized criteria can provide the authorities with a guideline to start reclamation planning based on the mining and environment requirements and budgeting and also to make the most fruitful, effective and low-cost decisions.