Mining is one of the oldest industries in the world, and with increasing pressure from governments to make processes more environmentally friendly, a broad range of mining companies are having to adapt and change how they operate. Whether extracting solid materials or mining for minerals, the demand for mining is continuing to remain steady, but the environmental impacts of this particular industry has been significant. According to the Geological Society of America in a study in 2012, approximately 0.3% of global land is impacted by mining, and environmental impacts can include soil erosion, disruption of watershed and overall environmental pollution. As a result, the mining industry is needing to implement brand new processes in order to ensure that it becomes friendlier to the planet. Here, we’re taking a closer look at how the industry is changing.

Equipment Upgrades

This is a key area in which many mining companies are adapting. Mining equipment can be expensive due to its exceptional resilience, and the requirements for its durability. As a result, many mining companies will keep the same equipment for a long period of time, but this can cause a lot of pollution. As a result, regulations have been put in place in order to ensure that mining companies upgrade their equipment to machinery that is far more environmentally friendly, from the likes of their main drill components all the way through to a VSI impact crusher. This equipment can help to reduce the amount of pollution that is being produced by the equipment itself, while also benefitting the company by improving overall efficiencies and reducing costs.

Scrap Mining & Recycling

A growing trend in the mining industry is where companies are capitalising on the materials that they are producing, therefore helping to reduce the amount of waste. Companies are beginning to steer production much more closely towards durable goods, or those which can be easily reused or recycled. One of these trends is known as scrap mining, which actually stems from the recognition of the environmental impact that mining can have. The Canary Institute of Canada even suggests that a number of environmental groups are looking for a 90% decrease in the amount of waste being produced. A number of case studies have also shown that both corporations and private mines are able to build new infrastructure from reusable materials sourced from a mine site – such as sourcing aluminium rather than bauxite ore in order to build new construction.

Green Mining Research & Development

With increasing regulatory pressures, a number of large corporations are having to invest in research and development in order to ensure that their practices remain as sustainable as possible in order to be friendly to the environment overall. However, governments and separate agencies will need to gather funds in order to invest in this appropriately, if the research and development is to be implemented on a large scale. While this is happening in some countries, others are far more resistant to the changes.

There are a broad number of ways that the mining industry is changing in order to become more environmentally friendly, but as a whole, the industry has a lot of improvements to make in order to remain fully sustainable.

Incredible Planet Staff

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