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Sustainable development principles for the disposal of mining and mineral processing wastes

Author

Listed:
  • Franks, Daniel M.
  • Boger, David V.
  • Côte, Claire M.
  • Mulligan, David R.

Abstract

This paper examines the minerals industry's response to sustainable development in the area of waste disposal and argues that leadership and guidance are still needed to forge collective agreement on norms and standards of practise. To encourage further debate, the paper develops a set of sustainable development principles for the disposal of mining and mineral processing wastes, and discusses the implications for current and future practise. In practise, the principles can guide waste disposal decisions through the consideration of what risk and magnitude, in any given local context, a particular management solution poses to their application. The sustainability challenge in the management of tailings and waste rock is to dispose of material, such that it is inert or, if not, stable and contained, to minimise water and energy inputs and the surface footprint of wastes and to move toward finding alternate uses. Future trends in mining and processing may compound the challenges of waste management, as lower ore grades increase the ratio of waste produced for a given unit of resource, and emphasise the urgency and need for the industry to adopt new approaches. New technologies and innovations, such as thickened tailings, dry stacking and paste backfill, have greatly increased the waste disposal methods available to meet the future challenges to sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

  • Franks, Daniel M. & Boger, David V. & Côte, Claire M. & Mulligan, David R., 2011. "Sustainable development principles for the disposal of mining and mineral processing wastes," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 114-122, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:2:p:114-122
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hilson, Gavin & Murck, Barbara, 2000. "Sustainable development in the mining industry: clarifying the corporate perspective," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 227-238, December.
    2. Mudd, Gavin M., 2007. "Global trends in gold mining: Towards quantifying environmental and resource sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 42-56.
    3. Mudd, Gavin M., 2010. "The Environmental sustainability of mining in Australia: key mega-trends and looming constraints," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 98-115, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shahba, Sudabe & Arjmandi, Reza & Monavari, Masoud & Ghodusi, Jamal, 2017. "Application of multi-attribute decision-making methods in SWOT analysis of mine waste management (case study: Sirjan's Golgohar iron mine, Iran)," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 67-76.
    2. Rahimi, Esmaeil & Ghasemzadeh, Hasan, 2015. "A new algorithm to determine optimum cut-off grades considering technical, economical, environmental and social aspects," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P1), pages 51-63.
    3. Schoenberger, Erica, 2016. "Environmentally sustainable mining: The case of tailings storage facilities," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 119-128.
    4. World Bank, 2014. "Enhancing Environmental and Social Sustainability of Mining in Armenia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 18957, The World Bank.
    5. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:405-417 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Vigya Sharma & Tapan Sarker, 2013. "Sustainable resource development in Asia: challenges and opportunities," Chapters,in: The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change, chapter 10, pages 225-252 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Vesna Popović & Jelena Živanović Miljković & Jonel Subić & Andrei Jean-Vasile & Nedelcu Adrian & Eugen Nicolăescu, 2015. "Sustainable Land Management in Mining Areas in Serbia and Romania," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-21, August.

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