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Clean technologies for the mining sector: the time for green mining has come

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Clean technologies for the mining sector: the time for green mining has come

Mining processes have been set in stone for a long time, making innovation seem like a difficult concept to grasp for this sector. The only concern with that is the carbon footprint left behind after all these years. Over the years, the mining industry has mainly contributed to the environmental issues that face the world today.

Mining causes pollution and severe damage to land and biodiversity. Today, the world can no longer afford to have practices that don’t benefit the environment, and this is why there are new and improved processes that can help mining become more sustainable.

To find out how the mining sector can become greener, read the article below.

 

Work towards putting a stop to illegal mining

Illegal mining has been an issue for a long time. In 2016, the South African Human Rights Commission found that there are between 8000 and 30 000 illegal miners. Illegal mining happens when mines are left by previous mine owners who were once liquidated, or for historical reasons. This is a huge problem that needs to be dealt with. Not only is it illegal, but often those mines have hazardous waste that affects communities and the environment.

To stop illegal mining and help the environment prosper, mine owners need to come together to find a sustainable solution. Those mines can either close down or need to be reclaimed. Once they have been reclaimed, they need to have the waste taken care of.

 

Finding the right waste management plans

In the past, mining companies used methods that were bad for the environment. These methods mainly contributed to environmental issues such as water and air pollution.

The equipment used in mining had high-emission fuels like diesel and propane, and the mining industry had bad water management. They used clean water for their processes, and the untreated water would go back into the environment. Untreated mine water is toxic to the environment, animals and humans. To rectify this, there needed to be sufficient water treatment in mining. Mining wastewater treatment involves a few treatments, like a zero liquid discharge plant. Zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is a mine water treatment solution that removes liquid waste and salts from the water. The treatment system ensures that the water is safe enough to be reused before going back into the environment.

 

Move towards solar energy

Mines should consider moving towards using solar energy for their operations. Not only can it help mine owners cut down on costs, but it is also a reliable renewable source. Today, there are solar energy sources with a battery bank that can store a lot of power and can be helpful when you have processes working around the clock. Using solar energy can help lower greenhouse gases and increase the life of fossil fuel. Solar energy is also cost-effective as you will be reducing mining costs.

 

Improve production process

Improving the production process can be an effective way of decreasing the impact on the environment. New equipment can be your mine’s first step to improving processes. And thankfully, with technology improvements, the new equipment has become more eco-friendly. Equipment is now sustainable and can reduce waste output.

 

Restore the environment around mines

Replenishing the environment is an effective way to go green. Although this may be overlooked, it can benefit the environment now, and in the long run. To restore the environment, mines need to start replenishing native soils and grass. You can clean up any excess waste, ensure proper waste removal, and have site inspections. To restore the environment, replanting trees can also have a positive effect. Although it may seem simple, this can help mines contribute to bettering the environment rather than harming it.

 

Investing in green mining research

The mining sector is one of the industries which require extensive research and development in order to get eco-friendly processes. Technology is ever-changing, and it requires money to ensure these implements can be made. So, mine owners need to come together and fund mining research and development. Mine owners also need to stay ahead, better their own knowledge about the environment and what they can do differently.

 

Conclusion

Finding greener mining processes can lessen the impact mines have on the environment. Environmental issues continue being in the spotlight, and so do mines. The mining sector is one of the many industries that have many negative impacts on the environment. So, once mining adopts green mining, it will make a huge impact on the environment.

 

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