Sustainable Mineral Extraction Essay Examples
Sustainable development especially in mineral extraction refers to a type of economic development that fully meets the needs of the current and future generation. Today, mining can be made more environmentally sustainable when practices aimed at the reduction of environmental damages during mining operations are integrated (Castendyk, 2009). Therefore, sustainable development principles should be adhered during when mining.
The community needs to incorporate improved methods of recycling, better technology such as froth flotation and using cyanide when extracting minerals like gold. Indeed, it will probably reduce non-renewable materials (Botin, 2009). These are the strategies this community should adapt when extracting minerals.
The standard inputs required in the extraction are water and energy. Pumping ground water for use in mining operations leads to contamination of underground water thus affecting aquatic organism (Botin, 2009). Equally, electricity and diesel fuel is used in the refining of copper and smelting of iron. Reduction of energy consumption leads to a reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Mining activities require good infrastructure, building where workers live and the area where the mineral is extracted. It probably leads to clearing of vegetation. The community can reduce land disruption by minimizing mining area, reducing wastes and by planting trees in the areas affected.
Sustainability begins with proper dumping of wastes such as mine water, solid wastes, and air particles. It should, therefore, utilize appropriate waste management plans when dumping wastes. For instance, they can also use wastes as inputs (raw materials). They can also incorporate re-engineering process and cleaner production methods to reduce dangers of wastes.
In Canada (1996-2005), the Acre community involved experts in the field of Gold mining. Firstly, they designed methods of recycling water. As a result, water intake was significantly reduced by 30%. In turn, water contamination and threatening of aquatic organisms was significantly reduced.
Botin, J. A. (2009). Sustainable management of mining operations. Littleton, Colo: Published by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.
Castendyk, D. N., Eary, L. E., & Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (U.S.). (2009). Mine pit lakes: Characteristics, predictive modeling, and sustainability. Littleton, Colo: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration.