Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Business and Economics


Mark C Roberts


Today sustainable development is a very pertinent issue. Communities do not want companies, specifically mining companies, to deplete a natural resource and leave. The goal is to minimize the negative impacts of mining and the boom/bust cycles of natural resource extraction.

In this study a three part framework was developed to analyze the sustainability of the Flambeau Mine in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. The first and second part dealt with an in-depth local and regional analysis and whether the community was developing within its own vision. The third part used nine sustainability measures including:

1. Need Present Generation

2. Future Need

3. Acceptable Legacy

4. Full-Cost

5. Contribution to Economic Development

6. Equity

7. Consent

8. Respect for Ecological Limits, Maintenance of Ecological Integrity and Landscape Requirements

9. Offsetting Restoration

This study concluded that the Flambeau Mine was sustainable relative to the first two criteria and that it can be considered mostly sustainable relative to the nine criteria. Overall it can be stated that the Flambeau Mine was a beneficial project to the Ladysmith Wisconsin area. Additionally it appeared to decrease the public’s negative perception of mining.

Recommendations for future analytical work are made. Suggestions are made as to how mining companies could increase the potential for the attainment of sustainability in projects. It is recommended that this framework be used by other industries.