Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Mining and Geology, Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran



Sustainability assessment has received numerous attentions in the mining industry. Mining sustainability includes the environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and a sustainable development is achieved when all these dimensions improve in a balanced manner. Therefore, to measure the sustainability score of a mine, we require an approach that evaluates all these three dimensions of mining sustainability. Some frameworks have been developed to compute the sustainability score of mining activities; however, some of them are very complicated and the others do not cover all the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. In order to fill this gap, this work was designed to introduce a practical approach to determine the score of mining sustainability. In order to develop this approach, initially, 14 negative and positive influential macro factors in the sustainability of open-pit mines were identified. Then the important levels of the factors were estimated based on the comments and scores of some experts. Two checklists were constructed for the negative and positive factors. The sustainability score was computed using these checklists and the importance levels of the factors. The score range was between -100 and +100. In order to implement the proposed approach, the Angouran lead and zinc mine was selected. The sustainability score of the Angouran mine was +47.91, which indicated that the this mine had a sustainable condition. This score could increase through modification of some factors.