Mining has been degrading our environment for centuries. You would think that after all the natural disasters that have come upon us this past couple of years, we would be more careful how we mine the materials we use every day. If anything, mining companies have become more relentless in their pursuit to manufacture products that consumers will eat up. Fortunately, there is also a growing concern that our activities are haunting us. Nature wants to take up what’s rightfully hers.
Mining companies use machines and tools such as liquid ring vacuum pumps to make the mining process easier. This should be one of the focuses of investigating options on how to make mining “greener.” Engineers, mining companies, and governments must work to create a process that will reduce mining’s impact on the environment. Whether it’s with the use of green technology or eco-friendlier practices, mining calls for a more eco-conscious regulation.
Close Down Illegal Mines
There should be regular monitoring of a mining site’s processes and operations. If found to be operating illegally, these mines should be closed down. The permits of the owners should be revoked. Strictly enforcing laws on the legality of mining sites will set an environmental precedent within the industry.
Many countries, including China, passed legislation regulating mining sites and their processes. The hope is that with the enforcement of these laws, mining companies would be forced to follow eco-friendly mining processes. This also means supporting legal mines so that they can build better and stronger.
Reuse Waste to Build
Mining sites produce many materials that can be reused to build infrastructures. Aluminum can be substituted to replace bauxite ore, which is rarer and less reusable. Recycling steel, for example, uses less than three times the energy than processing ore is a practical choice. The same can be said for recycling copper, which uses seven times less the energy it takes to process ore. It’s already being done by mining corporations all over the world, so why can’t this be part of the formal process?
Reclaim Mines That Have Been Shut Down
After being shut down, many mining corporations just leave the sites with their debris and materials there to rot and decay. Governments should allow environmental groups to clean up the sites. They can drain the pipelines and remove infrastructure and existing building materials. They can clean the equipment and accessories and repurpose or demolish warehouses. They can also dispose of waste properly.
The site must return to its original natural form. If there are plants, they should grow again. The soil should regain back its nutrients, and water quality should improve.
Companies should stop mining non-reusable and rare metals. They can focus on reusable items such as wood, stone, plastic, metal, and other materials. These can be reused, remanufactured, and recycled. This is called scrap recycling. The aim is to reduce the impact of mining practices on the environment, wildlife, and community interests. Mining companies can become more sustainable by reusing often used materials and reducing the use of rare metals.
Supporting organizations will go a long way toward preserving the environment. A business-as-usual approach won’t cut it anymore. There should be constant research and a conscious effort to come up with better mining practices.