The mining sector relies heavily on natural resources such as water, land, and minerals to operate.
While it is an essential sector that helps many nations’ economies run smoothly, it can cause irreparable harm when done unsustainably. With so many green technologies enabling sustainable practices nowadays, mining businesses have more than one option when it comes to going “green.” Some of these practices are listed below. Keep reading!
1. Efficient Waste Disposal
Proper waste disposal is critical to reducing the environmental effect of mines, as observed and learned from the effects of unscrupulous mining practices in the past. Nowadays, companies can invest in technologies that convert waste into reusable material and integrate policies that allow for a more environmentally responsible waste disposal process.
On mining sites, water may be utilized as grey water for washing equipment or flushing staff facilities. Mining firms should strive to reuse and recycle as much water as practicable while ensuring that any unusable water is disposed of securely and ethically. Scrap materials can be recycled or sold to businesses that can utilize them, reducing the amount of accumulated waste on-site. To see the real-life impact of unsustainable waste disposal practices, read this story on the Brazilian mine tragedy.
2. Closing or Reclaiming Shut-Down Mines
Mines that are not correctly closed and recovered after usage might pose a significant risk to its surrounding ecosystem. Hazardous waste remnants in the property can contaminate soil and water and endanger surrounding communities.
The most straightforward approach to shut and recover a mine is to reduce the amount of disruption it creates in the first place. Site selection is essential to achieve this objective. Good upfront closure and reclamation planning are also more financially viable, resulting in significantly lower upfront expenses when putting up a closure plan surety bond.
3. Using Minimal-Impact Mining Techniques
Traditional mining practices carry a significant environmental effect, and some standard methods, such as open pit and underground mining, pose some of the most severe environmental problems.
Mining firms can decrease their environmental effect by utilizing innovative, low-impact mining processes such as in-situ leaching.
Many of these approaches can help firms decrease surface disturbance at mining sites, prevent soil erosion, and transport less material that needs to be backfilled. Read this article on In Situ Recovery mining to learn more.
4. Using Eco-friendly Mining Equipment
Mining firms that aim to decrease their environmental effect might use more environmentally friendly equipment.
Battery-powered mining equipment has become sufficiently strong and developed enough to replace diesel-powered engines. Wherever practical, replacing diesel engines with electric engines may considerably reduce the CO2 produced by mining activities.
In general, the mining sector is already shifting toward electric equipment, with an increasing number of mining equipment manufacturers competing to provide this eco-friendly option. A great example of this is Epiroc, a Swedish equipment manufacturer who has made a significant commitment to go 100% electric in a few years.
5. Environmental Restoration in Work Sites
Mining corporations frequently neglect the need for environmental replenishment or restoration. The replenishment cost can be a fraction of the operation and can go a long way toward improving mining’s environmental sustainability. Straightforward solutions can be implemented, such as refilling native soils and grasses, cleaning excess trash, appropriate waste removal, site inspections, and restoring trees and natural forestry.
Mining firms, rather than making the environment more challenging to live in, can instead contribute to positive environmental change by repairing the ecosystem around the mine. A mine’s rehabilitation should involve removing dangerous debris, reworking the ground, planting natural grasses or trees, and restoring topsoil.
Mining firms should consider shifting to sustainable equipment and waste disposal processes to reduce their environmental effect. They should also be proactive about refilling the local ecosystem as often as possible. This will make the surrounding region livable and return to its natural state long after the mining operations have ceased.
Group 11 technology is committed to revolutionizing the mining industry with proprietary green technologies and methods that promote socially responsible mineral extraction to achieve a net-zero environmental impact. Get in touch with us today for more information!