Mining community resilience explored through sustainable community development and perceptions of community wellbeing

Kanakis, Katerina (2018) Mining community resilience explored through sustainable community development and perceptions of community wellbeing. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

PDF (Thesis)
Download (3MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


The aim of this project was to investigate the resilience of mining communities throughout different stages of mining activity. This aim was achieved through the in-depth exploration of mining community wellbeing and sustainability. The sustainability of mining communities is subject to many factors such as economic market trends and the longevity of the resource being mined (Black, 2005). Sustainable development requires consideration of the actions needed at a local level that contribute to or hinder sustainability (Callaghan & Colton, 2008; Epps, 2002; Lubbers & Koorevaar, 1999). As sustainability was investigated at a community level, the community capital framework suggested by Callaghan and Colton (2008) was used. This framework provides a comprehensive view of the factors that can influence community sustainability. These factors are environmental, human, social, cultural, public structural and commercial capital. Social capital is particularly important to consider for community sustainability as it facilitates coordination and cooperation for the mutual benefit of those involved thus allowing for the use of other forms of capital to be more efficient (Putnam, 1993, 2000). This project explored the relationships between community capital and community wellbeing in mining communities. Additionally, this project explored mining community residents' perceptions of the impacts of mining activity. Due to the limited literature on mining community wellbeing in an Australian context, an exploratory approach was taken in this project.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three Queensland mining communities. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 37 residents (nine male, 28 female) from three research sites - Mount Isa (three male, 17 female), Emerald (four male, seven female) and Moranbah (two male, four female). An exploratory qualitative approach was used within an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) framework. IPA provides a framework for the in-depth description and interpretation of how participants perceive and make sense of their experience within their community (J. A. Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009; J. A. Smith & Osborn, 2008). Thematic analysis was conducted within the IPA framework to identify, analyse and report on patterns within the data (Braun & Clarke, 2006).

The reported factors that influence general community wellbeing were reflected in the six forms of community capital and highlighted the interconnected relationships between the forms of community capital. Social capital elements were recognised as playing a key role in residents' perceptions of the community's wellbeing. Additionally, mining activity was perceived to have various impacts on mining communities. Although participants reported some positive impacts, participants more consistently identified mining activity's negative impact on community wellbeing. Again, social capital elements were identified as playing a key role in residents' perceptions towards the mining industry and the negative impacts of mining activity. Social capital elements need to be considered within sustainable community development as these social capital elements were reported as key determinants of community wellbeing. Building trusting and reciprocal relationships between general community members, and community leadership and industry stakeholders is key to facilitating sustainable community development.

Item ID: 62655
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: resilience, mining communities, mining industry, sustainable development, community perceptions, capital, community development, community wellbeing
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Katerina Kanakis.
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2020 01:54
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies @ 40%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8502 Mining and Extraction of Energy Resources > 850299 Mining and Extraction of Energy Resources not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 316
Last 12 Months: 19
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page