environmental sandstone mining equipment in adelaide

environmental sandstone mining equipment in adelaide

The Environmental Impacts of the Mining Industry. In the engineering industry, any kind of energy generating activity has a negative impact on our environment. Although these activities are crucial to living better lives, they are doing substantially more harm to our landscape than ever before. These activities make a direct impact on our air, water, public health, wildlife and habitat, water use, land and soil use and global warming. If mining workers don’t take immediate action in cleaning up their operations, the long-term impacts on humanity could be irreparable.

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Mining operations generate large amounts of material waste that easily gets dispersed by the wind into the air. These defined materials get released to the surface, and no matter the method or technique used, once the vegetation gets removed and the soil gets exposed to the weather, these particles become airborne through road traffic and wind erosion and releases further toxic materials into the air. Such toxic particles that get released into the air are absorbed into the body, contributing to human health illnesses

Mining causes physical destruction on our land. This can be anything from open pits to rock waste and dumpsters that significantly impact the environment. This pollution will then go on to affect the fauna and flora around us, and depending on how big the disruption is, whatever was there before cannot be restored. Further disruption can affect our roads and buildings. Once there is a landscape declination, caused by ground movements on the surface of the earth, it results in a collapsing overlaying sheet

the environmental impacts of the mining industry | mining

It’s a no-brainer that mining activities affect our water, as surface and groundwater supplies are struggling to support human consumption. There are so many elements that contaminate our water, for example, metal pollutants such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and mercury, increased sediment levels in streams and acid mine drainage

Not to mention the water wastage. These activities cause unnaturally high concentrations of chemicals such as mercury, arsenic and sulfuric acid over a significant area surrounding the mine, which means that water cannot be consumed. Once water is polluted, it affects plants, tailing ponds, underground mines, waste-disposal areas, active or abandoned surface or haulage roads. Siltification also affects irrigation, local dams and the ocean, fisheries, domestic water supply, and other areas

The acid rock drainage and the transportation of heavy metals influence groundwater and pollute surface level water. When looking to protect the water around your mine, the process of bioleaching is the best option. This is done through non-toxic extractions. If the mining site is already contaminated, then mitigation techniques such as acid mine drainage (AMD) is performed. Both can help turn mine water to potable water, resulting in fresh drinkable water for commercial use, households and animals.

There are five main techniques used in the monitoring and controlling of water flow at mining sites. These techniques include subsurface drainage systems, groundwater pumping systems, diversion systems, subsurface barriers and contamination ponds. When the process of AMD is used, the contaminated water is pumped into a facility for treatment that eventually neutralises the contaminants and can be used again

the environmental impacts of the mining industry | mining

The mining industry has a significant impact on biodiversity, caused by the destruction or drastic modification of the pre-mined landscape in a particular area. It leads to massive habitat loss, which further affects microorganisms, vegetation and animals. The effects of these activities are determined by the level of concentration, extent, and the nature of the contaminant. Temperature modifications can disrupt the livelihood of the communities that live in proximity to the site.

While some species are resistant to environmental disturbances, there are specific animals and endemic plants that are highly sensitive and require specific environmental conditions to survive. Just the slightest disruption on their habitats can result in extinction. Aquatic organisms are also affected by the industry

The economic benefits generated by the mining industry cannot be ignored, but the environmental and health impacts that go hand-in-hand with this cannot continue either. Our need for natural resources is only increasing and depending on the type of mining, these resources are only becoming more contaminated by the day. In order to make mining more environmentally sustainable, mine workers will need to maximise modern technology to help reduce environmental impacts

the environmental impacts of the mining industry | mining

Another way to limit environmental impact is for workers to develop and integrate practices into their operations that help to minimise land disturbances and waste production, which will, hopefully, reduce the negative impact that comes along with that. Individuals can also adopt a recycling mindset where they recycle waste materials to reduce the demand for unnecessary minerals and metals

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

''Mining" probably conjures several images. One familiar scene is of the old West, where prospectors blast the sides of mountains, tunnel through the earth, or pan at a river's edge for gold. Another is of environmental impacts of acid mine drainage from older mines that did not benefit from modern technology and management practices. The common view of mining is of environmental degradation. Few individuals outside the industry are aware of modern mining practices and associated business, environmental, and public policy issues (highlighted in Appendix A) or of how mining companies are responding to today's environmental challenges

The extraction of ore from underground or surface mines is but one stage in a complicated and time-consuming process of producing minerals. A mine is born through exploration and mine development. This is followed by mining and beneficiation, and ends with mine closure and rehabilitation. A mining company must undertake all mining activities to be viable and competitive. It must adhere to a comprehensive set of rules of regulations

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

Most states have comprehensive environmental regulations for the mining industry. Federal regulations aimed directly at the mining industry have not yet been put into a place, but broad-based statutes such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and numerous others apply to mining activities. Further, the federal government has been addressing the cleanup of historic mine wastes through its Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,

and Liability Act (CERCLA, otherwise known as Superfund). More recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has used CERCLA to address active mining operations. There is no evidence that this attention from the general public or the regulators will diminish, and mining companies in the United States can expect an ever-increasing level of scrutiny and control over their operations

Proper concern and regard for the environment is one of the fundamental elements of any successful business strategy. Given the increasing level of attention to environmental issues in the mining business, it is even more critical today, as illustrated by the experience of Kennecott Corporation. Kennecott Corporation—a wholly owned subsidiary of RTZ, PLC, the largest mining company in the world—manages mining operations and exploration activities across North America, including several low-sulfur coal mines in the Powder River Basin, precious metals mines in the Southeastern and Western United States, and copper mines in Wisconsin and Utah. Kennecott is best known for its Bingham Canyon copper mine near Salt Lake City, which generates one-sixth of the total U.S. copper production. Kennecott's environmental strategy is based on an environmental policy that builds from a foundation of compliance with the legal, regulatory, and consent requirements of the countries and localities in which it operates. The firm's environmental policy attempts to strike a balance between society's need for metals and an environmentally sound approach to operations

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

In general, the company's environmental policy dictates that its operations go beyond simply meeting current regulatory standards. The operations must exemplify best contemporary practice for the minimization and, where feasible, elimination of adverse environmental effects. The company does so by

Kennecott's environmental policy is administered by the vice president of environmental affairs whose responsibilities, with the cooperation and support of the other departments within the company, are the following:

As the flagship of Kennecott's operations, Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC) provides as good example of this environmental strategy in action in a large mining operation. KUC occupies over 92,000 acres in the Oquirrh Mountains just west of Salt Lake City. Operations include the Bingham Canyon Mine, the Copperton and North Concentrators, the Magna Tailings Impoundment, the Garfield Smelter and Refinery, the Utah Power Plant, and miscellaneous support facilities (Figure 1 ). KUC produces over 300,000 tons of copper, 500,000 ounces

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

of gold, and 4 million ounces of silver annually with a gross market value exceeding $800 million. KUC is in the midst of a major modernization program representing an investment of nearly $2 billion. When complete, the program will ensure that KUC remains one of the world's cleanest and most efficient copper producers well into the next century. Environmental considerations are an integral part of the modernization program. In addition to designing modernized operating facilities to achieve very high levels of operating efficiency and environmental control, the modernization program includes the cleanup of historic waste sites

Accompanying the modernization program are routine efforts to improve environmental performance in many areas, such as employee and community education, hazard elimination (e.g., elimination of underground storage tanks and polychlorinated biphenyl compounds), substitution of environmentally sound products (e.g., detergents for chlorinated solvent cleaning solutions), and extensive waste-minimization and recycling efforts. In all areas, Kennecott is attempting to stay ahead of the regulatory agencies in determining the pace and priorities of the cleanup program

The first $400 million component of the modernization program, completed in 1988, included in-pit ore crushing and new grinding and flotation facilities north of Copperton near the mouth of Bingham Canyon. Transportation improvements included a 5-mile ore conveyor system and the installation of three pipelines to replace the outdated railroad ore and waste rock haulage system. The project incorporated some of the largest state-of-the-art crushing, conveying, grinding, flotation, and filtration equipment available in the industry. In 1992, the first stage of the modernization program was supplemented with the construction of the fourth grinding line at Copperton. Along with several other improvements, this program represented an additional investment of over $200 million

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

The modernization of the Bingham Canyon Mine allows KUC to produce nearly 152,000 tons of ore per day. An equivalent amount of waste rock is removed from the mine each day. Ore and waste rock are transported within the pit to the adjacent waste rock disposal areas by haul trucks with capacities as large as 240 tons. About 80 percent of the ore is hauled to the in-pit crusher and then conveyed to the Copperton Concentration for grinding and flotation. The remaining ore is loaded on rail cars for transport to the older North Concentrator. Tailings (the sandy residue left after metals are stripped from ore) are delivered by gravity pipeline from the Copperton Concentrator to a 5,700-acre storage impoundment located 12 miles to the north along the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Concentrate slurry is piped nearly 18 miles from Copperton to the Garfield Smelter

The modernization program at the mine and concentrators improves environmental performance primarily by making the operations among the most efficient in the world. In this regard, the modernization represents as win-win situation in which operating considerations are entirely compatible with environmental protection and improvement. Such energy-efficient operations achieve the highly desirable goal of both direct and indirect pollution prevention. Water conservation and recycling were designed as integral parts of the modernization effort. As plans move forward for developing additional tailings storage capacity, environmental considerations are playing a major role in site identification, selection, and design, and the acquisition of permits for the sites

In March 1992, Kennecott announced plans to complete the modernization of its operating facilities with the construction of state-of-the-art smelting and refining facilities. This component of the modernization program represents an investment of $880 million, making it the largest private investment ever undertaken in Utah. The most dramatic environmental improvement will come with the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions from the current level of about 3,700

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

pounds per hour to 200 pounds per hour. Of the sulfur contained in the concentrate feed, 99.9 percent will be captured, compared with the current, very respectable capture efficiency of about 93 percent. This translates to a sulfur dioxide emission rate of about 6 pounds per ton of copper produced, which is lower than the world's cleanest smelters now operating in Japan. These improvements will be achieved even though the smelting capacity will nearly double, enabling the modernized smelter to handle all of the concentrate produced from the Bingham Canyon Mine

Water usage will be reduced fourfold through an extensive recycling program. Pollution prevention, workplace safety and hygiene, and waste minimization are being incorporated into all aspects of the design. The smelter will generate 85 percent of its own electrical energy through steam recovery from the furnace gases and emission-control equipment, eliminating the need to burn additional fossil fuel to provide power. The new facility will require only 25 percent of the electrical power and natural gas now used to produced copper

The refinery modernization will improve plantwide efficiency, including energy efficiency. For example, the existing direct-current electrical system will be replaced by motor-generator sets with high-capacity solid state rectifiers. An ion exchange system will be added to control impurities, and the precious-metals refinery will be replaced with a simpler, faster hydrometallurgical process. The materials handling system will be updated to simplify and mechanize the flow of work

environmental strategies in the mining industry: one

Waste generated from the existing smelting and refining process consists of weak acid from smelter off-gas scrubbing, flue dust, and electrolyte bleed from the refinery. All of these materials will be processed in a new hydrometallurical plant to recover valuable products, thereby maximizing resource recovery while minimizing the amount of waste that will require off-site disposal. The existing wastewater treatment plant and sludge storage ponds will become obsolete and will be reclaimed. The smelter modernization program also includes plans to segregate storm water from process waters, reducing water management problems and once again allowing the natural storm flows drainages above the smelter to enter the Great Salt Lake

The KUC property has a long history of mining activities dating to the 1860s, when the first lead, zinc, silver, and gold mining began in Bingham Canyon. Because the level of attention given to environmental matters in those early periods was not as great as today, there is a legacy of historic waste sites at and around KUC. The historic waste sites are primarily contaminated with waste rock, tailings, sludges, and other mining waste products

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