Developing a practical mechanism for incorporating sustainability principles into mineral processing plant design and operation

Corder, G. D. and Green, S. R. (2011). Developing a practical mechanism for incorporating sustainability principles into mineral processing plant design and operation. In: , Fifth International Conference Sustainable Development in the Minerals Industry. Fifth International Conference Sustainable Development in the Minerals Industry (SDIMI 2011), Aachen, Germany, (675-688). 14-17 June 2011.

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Author Corder, G. D.
Green, S. R.
Title of paper Developing a practical mechanism for incorporating sustainability principles into mineral processing plant design and operation
Conference name Fifth International Conference Sustainable Development in the Minerals Industry (SDIMI 2011)
Conference location Aachen, Germany
Conference dates 14-17 June 2011
Proceedings title Fifth International Conference Sustainable Development in the Minerals Industry
Series Aachen iInternational Mining Symposia
Place of Publication Essen, Germany
Publisher VGE-Verl
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9783867971195
3867971196
Volume 10
Start page 675
End page 688
Total pages 14
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Many organisations, including those in the resources industry have Board-level endorsed principles on sustainability. A key challenge, however, is how to systematically integrate these high-level principles into the design and operation of mineral processing plants. Current project management systems do not readily deliver the innovative solutions that are needed to address key sustainability issues, such as minimal impacts on the environment, significantly lower carbon emissions, and maintaining the societal "licence to operate". In an effort to meet this challenge the Sustainable Operations framework, called SUSOP`, was conceived and developed through the Co-operative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP) in Australia. Somewhat analogous to HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Studies) which is well entrenched in the resources industry, the key aim of SUSOP` is to produce a holistic, systematic and rigorous set of processes for identifying and assessing sustainability opportunities and risks within the organising architecture of a sustainability framework. A multi-faceted approach has been taken in the development of SUSOP`. Utilising the expertise of research and industry collaborators, drawing on the substantial body of published work on sustainable development, and most importantly undertaking "live" case studies with the minerals industry have been critical features in enhancing SUSOP``s development. In particular, the "live" case studies have provided significant insights into the process of identifying and evaluating opportunities for improving an operation`s contribution to sustainability and its long-term business case. Such insights have emphasised that the outcomes from a mechanism such as SUSOP` need to be integrated into current project management systems to ensure its acceptance and potential to deliver value. This paper argues the important need for a systematic and rigorous approach for embedding sustainability principles into mineral processing plant design and operation, presents the key elements of SUSOP`, and highlights both the value that SUSOP` delivered to the case studies and how the case studies enhanced its development. In addition, the long-term aspiration for SUSOP` to become an industry standard and the reasons why such a framework will have growing importance into the future will be articulated.
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Created: Thu, 22 Sep 2011, 09:29:48 EST by Dr Glen Corder on behalf of Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining