A rich vein? Mining and the pursuit of sustainability

Jaime M. Amezaga, Tobias S. Rötting, Paul L. Younger, Robert W. Nairn, Anthony Jo Noles, Ricardo Oyarzún, Jorge Quintanilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The removal of a nonrenewable natural resource such as metals or petrochemicals hardly meets the definition of "sustainable". However the methods used to extract the materials can be designed for overall environmental protection. Theoretically controllable variables include water use, transportation methods, and potential remediation/landscape alteration for the postclosure period. Further, in the case of metals, recycling means that the long-term sustainability of such resources can be realized. Amezaga et al. review how mining practices have evolved to consider sustainability over the last few decades and remark on what challenges still need to be overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

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