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Sustainability in metal mining: from exploration, over processing to mine waste management

Abstract

Metal mining or more general mineral mining, is the base industry of the economic wealth and development of numerous countries. However, mining has a negative reputation due to the complex problems of environmental contamination like SO2 and CO2 emissions and acid mine drainage (AMD) formation, which endangers vital limited resources, like air, water, and soils. This view paper highlights the environmental problems of todays metal mining operations and explores possibilities of future more sustainable mining operations with focus on enhanced and optimized metal recovery systems in combination with a minimization of the environmental impact. These changes depend on a change in mentality and in the mining operation process, which can nowadays yet be observed in some modern mining operations. The goal for the future will be to implement these changes as standard for all future mining operations.

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Dold, B. Sustainability in metal mining: from exploration, over processing to mine waste management. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 7, 275–285 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11157-008-9142-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11157-008-9142-y

Keywords

  • Acid mine drainage
  • Biomining
  • Tailings
  • Pollution
  • Sulfides
  • Sulfates
  • Sustainable
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Remediation
  • Environment