Integrating industrial ecology thinking into the management of mining waste

Lèbre, Éléonore and Corder, Glen (2015) Integrating industrial ecology thinking into the management of mining waste. Resources, 4 765-786. doi:10.3390/resources4040765

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Author Lèbre, Éléonore
Corder, Glen
Title Integrating industrial ecology thinking into the management of mining waste
Journal name Resources   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2079-9276
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/resources4040765
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 4
Start page 765
End page 786
Total pages 22
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher MDPI Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Mining legacies are often dominated by large waste facilities and their associated environmental impacts. The most serious environmental problem associated with mine waste is heavy metals and acid leakage through a phenomenon called acid mine drainage (AMD). Interestingly, the toxicity of this leakage is partly due to the presence of valuable metals in the waste stream as a result of a diversity of factors influencing mining operations. A more preventive and recovery-oriented approach to waste management, integrated into mine planning and operations, could be both economically attractive and environmentally beneficial since it would: mitigate environmental impacts related to mine waste disposal (and consequently reduce the remediation costs); and increase the resource recovery at the mine site level. The authors argue that eco-efficiency and resilience (and the resulting increase in a mine’s lifetime) are both critical—yet overlooked—characteristics of sustainable mining operations. Based on these arguments, this paper proposes a framework to assist with identification of opportunities for improvement and to measure this improvement in terms of its contribution to a mine’s sustainability performance.
Keyword Mining
Mine waste
Sustainable development
Material Flow Analysis
Industrial ecology
Sustainable resource management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 22 Mar 2016, 01:16:36 EST by Dr Glen Corder on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation