Mehdi Pezeshkan, Navid Hosseini
Mineral Resources Management, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp. 41–70, DOI: 10.24425/gsm.2020.132563
Publication year: 2020

The mines play an important role in the economic growth of countries since they are suppliers to many industries. In addition to the economic growth, the mines positively affect the social development factors such as the employment creation, the development of rural areas, building new roads, and etc. But sometimes it may lead to the negative environmental, and social impacts. Therefore, the mining activities should be carefully monitored for the concept of sustainable development. In this paper, a fuzzy Best-Worst Method based approach is developed for the evaluation of an iron mine. The case study, Sangan iron ore mine is one of the biggest mines, located in a rural area in the north eastern of Iran. Three factors including the economic, environmental, and social parameters were considered as main sustainable development criteria. The sub-criteria for each mentioned factor were then extracted from the literature as well as knowledge expert’s opinions. In the proposed approach, each sub-criterion was carefully weighted using the fuzzy Best-Worst method and scored by 12 experts. Afterwards, the sustainability score was defined as the summation of final fuzzy scores which was gone under a defuzzification process. The performance evaluation was calculated using this sustainability score resulted to a score of 0.626 out of 1, indicating its acceptable performance. The results showed that the mine performs well in terms of the economic benefits, rate of return, exploration capacity, and stockholders’ rights, but in the environmental management systems, water discharge, recreation and tourism aspects, it does not play well. The results of the implementation of the proposed approach showed the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed approach that is confirmed by experts.