AMSJ » ENVIRONMENT

Category - ENVIRONMENT

Environmental management now dominates a range of activities performed by mining companies globally. Mature mine operates recognise that their ‘license to operate’ is often determined by their past environmental performance and future plans to ensure that the environment impacted by mining operations is returned to, at the very least, pre-mining conditions.

Mining Environmental Issues and impacts of mining can occur at various stages of the mining life cycle. Exploration, Construction, Mining Operations, Closure and Remediation.

The environmental hazards of each activity and the impact of those activities can be determined by a range of factors including:

  • The ore being mined;
  • Characteristics of the ore body and its proximity to high impact areas;
  • Ecosystem existing prior to mining activities and its’ sensitivity to the impact of mining operations;
  • Methods of mining:
  • Equipment used in the mining process including but not limited to production and ore processing equipment.

Typically the primary environmental concerns from mining activities include acid mine drainage, heavy metal contamination from leaching, chemical pollution from processing activities and control of erosion and sedimentation, dust deposition and environmental noise, however, there may be other impacts.

Effective environmental management in mining controls the impact of the mining activity in relation to the contamination of air, land and water and the subsequent impact of changes to the normalised conditions on the surrounding ecosystem.

Mining environmental issues management also interfaces with safety management in many organisations. Through understanding the impacts of the environment on personnel and the ecosystem in which they operate, miners may continue to build a sustainable industry.

Australasian Mine Safety Journal provides a range of information, case studies and news on the environmental issues and impacts of mining.

Mount Isa Mines aerial

Mining giant accused of inflicting brain damage

A multinational resources company was sued for allegedly damaging a vital human organ in northwest Queensland. Glencore is defending Brisbane ­Supreme Court allegations that a toddler developed brain...

Extinction Rebellion protestors

Anti-coal protestors lock on, dangle from conveyor

Environmental activists risked their own safety to oppose a new mine expansion. Extinction Rebellion supporters Michael and OJ thought it was a great idea to lock their limbs, and precariously hang...

eDumper dump truck

Electric dump truck recharges without stopping

A multinational machinery maker found a way to constantly operate electric heavy vehicles without draining battery supplies. Switzerland-based Kuhn-Gruppe recently released what it claims to be the...

Rio Tinto train

Mining giants order eco friendly trains

Multiple resources companies will add battery power to their rail networks. BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group recently bought new battery-electric locomotives for their operations in Western...

AMSJ April 2022