Mining and the Environment

Authored by: Greg You , Dakshith Ruvin Wijesinghe

Sustainability in the Mineral and Energy Sectors

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498733021
eBook ISBN: 9781315369853
Adobe ISBN:


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While mining contributes to the economy, it has some adverse impacts on the environment. However, with the advancements in mining technologies, the industry has identified the importance of maintaining environmental sustainability during mining operations which combine various components such as resource efficiency, economics, safety and environment. The reduction of environmental impacts of mining relies on the balance between these factors. Australia is one of the world’s leading nations in mineral supplies, and has been working upon maintaining environmental sustainability from the beginning of mining operation until the mine closure. Ensuring environmental sustainability in mining needs not only the dedication of the industry in compliance with the laws and regulations but also requires consultations between industries and communities. This chapter summarises some major environmental problems associated with mining, such as acid mine drainage (AMD), land subsidence, mine waste, mine fire and issues related to blasting. These issues are discussed with reference to various laws and regulations that are implemented in Australia.

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