The mining industry across the globe is essential for many countries economies, however in recent times as global awareness of sustainability and the industries carbon foot-print is coming into review, the environmental damage caused by large-scale mining is threatening the sectors future.
We are very excited to provide a review on the latest technologies and methods in which mines are reducing their carbon footprint and looking towards a more sustainable future; at Storm Procurement we can’t wait to see these plans first hand in action!
Australia currently is at the forefront of research and development into using renewable energy to power and reduce greenhouse emissions. Multiple mines across the country have implemented plans involving the use of solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars; all of which reduce CO2 emissions.
Mount Cattlin a lithium mine in Western Australia is one of the countries cleanest operations, it uses 14 solar trackers and two wind turbines, ensuring 15% of the mines annual power needs are met by renewable sources; future plans are in development which will result in the mine only being powered by clean energy.
Cannington silver and lead mine in Queensland has taken an alternative route, a solar farm compromised of 7200 panels powers the mines’ accommodation and airport, this offers a great example for other mines to follow their lead and do their bit to save the planet.
Mines typically use a cyanide-based plant for ore processing; then store the by-products in a tailings dam, long enough for the cyanide to break down and be destroyed. The toxic water held in the dams poses a threat to the local environment and communities living in that area; it is highly toxic and usually radioactive. The use and maintenance of tailings dams comes at a high cost, therefore an alternative to this is welcomed.
Clean Mining, an Australian tech firm has launched an ore processing technology that will replace the use of chemical cyanide in gold mining. The use of a non-toxic reagent to recover gold will reduce the environmental and cost implications involved with cyanide mining, therefore improving mines carbon-footprints on a large scale.
Anglo America has entered a joint venture with Debswama with hopes to build the first polymer plant in Botswana, which could help aid the safe disposal of tailing dams; therefore, allowing mines to take another step towards a more sustainable future.