2nd Edition

Mining and the Environment From Ore to Metal

By Karlheinz Spitz, John Trudinger Copyright 2019
    812 Pages
    by CRC Press

    812 Pages
    by CRC Press

    The history of mining is replete with controversy of which much is related to environmental damage and consequent community outrage. Over recent decades, this has led to increased pressure to improve the environmental and social performance of mining operations, particularly in developing countries. The industry has responded by embracing the ideals of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

    Mining and the Environment identifies and discusses the wide range of social and environmental issues pertaining to mining, with particular reference to mining in developing countries, from where many of the project examples and case studies have been selected. Following an introductory overview of pressing issues, the book illustrates how environmental and social impact assessment, such as defined in "The Equator Principles", integrates with the mining lifecycle and how environmental and social management aims to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive mining impacts. Practical approaches are provided for managing issues ranging from land acquisition and resettlement of Indigenous peoples, to the technical aspects of acid rock drainage and mine waste management. Moreover, thorough analyses of ways and means of sharing non-transitory mining benefits with host communities are presented to allow mining to provide sustainable benefits for the affected communities. This second edition of Mining and the Environment includes new chapters on Health Impact Assessment, Biodiversity and Gender Issues, all of which have become more important since the first edition appeared a decade ago.

    The wide coverage of issues and the many real-life case studies make this practice-oriented book a reference and key reading. It is intended for environmental consultants, engineers, regulators and operators in the field and for students to use as a course textbook. As much of the matter applies to the extractive industries as a whole, it will also serve environmental professionals in the oil and gas industries.

    Karlheinz Spitz and John Trudinger both have multiple years of experience in the assessment of mining projects around the world. The combination of their expertise and knowledge about social, economic, and environmental performance of mining and mine waste management has resulted in this in-depth coverage of the requirements for responsible and sustainable mining.

    1 Minerals, Wealth, and Progress
    1.1 History of Mining
    1.2 The Path of Minerals from Cradle to Grave
    1.3 Ore–A Natural Resource Curse or Blessing?
    1.4 What Makes the Mining Industry Different?
    1.5 The Unique Risk Profile of Mining
    1.6 Meeting Environmental Issues Head On
    1.7 Environmental Assessment Practice–Eliminate the Negative, Accentuate the Positive
    1.8 The Equator Principles–Improved Practices for Better Outcomes
    1.9 Mining and Sustainability

    2 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
    Protection Before Exploitation
    2.1 Responsibilities of Mining Companies During Environmental Assessment
    2.2 Environmental Assessment In The Mining Cycle
    2.3 Managing Environmental Assessment
    2.4 Common Themes And Core Principles
    2.5 When is an ESIA Required?
    2.6 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Step-by-Step
    2.7 Documenting the Findings
    2.8 Obtaining ESIA Approval
    2.9 The Costs of Delay
    2.10 What Environmental Assessment is Not
    Appendix 2.1 Data Needs

    3 Health Impact Assessment
    3.1 Health and its Determinants
    3.2 What is a Health Impact Assessment?
    3.3 Screening
    3.4 Scoping
    3.5 Community and Stakeholder Engagement
    3.6 Community Health Baseline Survey
    3.7 Assessment
    3.8 Management
    3.9 Monitoring

    4 Involving the Public
    Forging Partnerships and Trust
    4.1 Historical Perspective
    4.2 Planning Stakeholder Involvement
    4.3 Getting to Know Your Stakeholders
    4.4 How to Identify Stakeholders?
    4.5 Engaging Stakeholders
    4.6 Conflict Identification and Management
    4.7 Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Public Involvement
    4.8 Common Mistakes

    5 The Anatomy of a Mine
    5.1 It All Begins in the Earth
    5.2 Exploration–From Reviewing Data to Taking Bulk Samples
    5.3 Feasibility–Is It Worth Mining?
    5.4 Engineering, Procurement, and Construction
    5.5 Mining
    5.6 Ore Dressing and Thickening
    5.7 Ancillary Facilities
    5.8 Design for Closure

    6 Mining Methods Vary Widely
    From Excavation to In-situ Leaching
    6.1 The Three Main Categories of Commerical Minerals
    6.2 Mining Methods
    6.3 Artisanal Mining–Mining Outside Established Law

    6 Converting Minerals to Metals
    From Ore to Finished Product
    7.1 Pyrometallurgical Mineral Processing–The Use of Fire
    7.2 Hydrometallurgical Mineral Processing–Dissolving Metals Away from Gangue
    7.3 Common Techniques To Estimate Emissions
    Appendix 7.1 Products of Mining, Their Sources and Processing Requirements
    Appendix 7.2 Mineral Processes and Their Impacts

    8 Our Environment
    A Set of Natural and Man-made Features
    8.1 The Atmosphere–Air, Weather, and Climate
    8.2 The Lithosphere–Geology, Landform, and Earth Resources
    8.3 The Hydrosphere–Storage and Movement of Water
    8.4 The Biosphere–Life on Earth
    8.5 The Social Sphere–Social and Cultural Fabric of Society
    8.6 The Economic Sphere–Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Goods and Services
    8.7 Judging the State and Value of the Environment
    8.8 What are Nature’s Economic Values?
    8.9 International Law Pertaining to Natural and Environmental Resources

    9 The Baseline
    Understanding the Host Environment
    9.1 The Use of Indicators
    9.2 Environmental Scoping
    9.3 Conducting Baseline Surveys–Ways and Means
    9.4 Converting Data to Information
    9.5 The Use of Remote Sensing Techniques and Geographic Information Systems

    10 Identifying and Evaluating Impacts
    Linking Cause and Effect
    10.1 Defining the Challenges
    10.2 Deciding on A Direction
    10.3 Deciding on the Methodology
    10.4 Linking Cause and Effect
    10.5 Identifying Project Impacts
    10.6 Evaluating Project Impacts
    10.7 Cultural Heritage Sites and Mine Development
    10.8 The Special Nature of Community Impacts
    10.9 Environmental Justice
    10.10 Group Decision-Making in Environmental Assessment
    10.11 Reflecting on the Objective Nature of Environmental Assessment
    10.12 Dealing with Uncertainties and Risks

    11 Cumulative and Transboundary Impact Assessment
    11.1 Definitions
    11.2 Coal Mining in Central Kalimantan
    11.3 Area of Influence
    11.4 Valued Ecosystem Components in Area of Influence
    11.5 Baseline Status of Valued Ecosystem Components in Area of Influence
    11.6 Other Activities in Area of Influence and Environmental Drivers
    11.7 Cumulative Impacts on VECs and their Significance
    11.8 Management Actions
    11.9 Main Challenges in Cumulative Impact Assessments
    11.10 Regional Planning Based on Cumulative Impact Assessment

    12 Emphasizing Environmental and Social Management and Monitoring
    Managing What Matters
    12.1 Success Factors for Environmental and Social Management
    12.2 The Key Components of an ESMS
    12.3 Benefits and Limitations

    13 Metals, Their Biological Functions and Harmful ImpactsMetals are Naturally Occurring Elements
    13.1 Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity of Metals
    13.2 Some Notes on Selected Metals
    13.3 Metals, Minerals and Rock

    14 Coal
    Its Use as Fuel, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    14.1 Coal Formation
    14.2 Coal Mining and the Release of Methane
    14.3 Emissions from Coal Combustion

    15 Was the Environmental Assessment Adequate?
    Identifying Issues, Finding Solutions
    15.1 Reviewing the Environmental and Social Impact Statement
    15.2 Environmental Mine Audits
    15.3 Sometimes Things Go Wrong

    16 The Range of Environmental and Social Concerns
    Separating Fact From Fantasy
    16.1 Changes in Landform
    16.2 Mine Wastes
    16.3 Mine Effluents, Acid Rock Drainage and Water Balance
    16.4 Air Quality and Climate Change
    16.5 Biodiversity and Habitats
    16.6 Social and Economic Change
    16.7 Surface Mining Versus Underground Mining
    16.8 Accidental Environmental Impacts
    16.9 Uranium Mining
    Appendix 16.1 An Overview of Environmental and Social Risks and Potential Financial Implications

    17 Land Acquisition and Resettlement
    When Property and Development Rights Collide
    17.1 Some Useful Definitions
    17.2 What Determines The Severity of Resettlement Losses?
    17.3 Resettlement Priorities
    17.4 Compensation for Resettlement Losses and Restoration of Livelihood– A Right, Not a Need
    17.5 Land Acquisition and Related Issues
    17.6 Livelihood Restoration–Realizing Sustainable Value in the Compensation of Lost Assests
    17.7 The Social Risks of Resettlement
    17.8 Managing Land Acquisition and Resettlement
    17.9 Artisanal Mining and Involuntary Resettlement

    18 Community Development
    Ensuring Long Term Benefits
    18.1 What Defines A Community?
    18.2 Pointers to Success
    18.3 Community Development Process
    18.4 Preparing for Mine Closure
    18.5 Community Programs–What to Do?
    18.6 Local Benefits Do Not Always Eventuate
    18.7 Common Problems and Solutions
    Appendix 18 Evaluating Community Development Programs

    19 Indigenous Peoples Issues
    Respecting the Differences
    19.1 Who Are Indigenous Peoples?
    19.2 Reasons For Concern
    19.3 Important Characteristics of Indigenous Societies
    19.4 Issues and Opportunities
    19.5 Strategies for Interaction with Indigenous Communities
    19.6 Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    19.7 Responsibilities of Mining Companies in Relation to Indigenous Peoples
    19.8 Preserving or Restoring Autonomy: Partnering for the Long Term
    19.9 Project Preparation
    19.10 In Operation and Closing Down
    19.11 Conclusions

    20 Gender in the Mining Industry
    20.1 Definitions, Gender Mainstreaming, and Gender Equality
    20.2 History of Women in Mining
    20.3 Present-Day Mining and Gender
    20.4 Other Approaches to Gender Assessment
    20.5 What Works to Address Gender Inequity?
    20.6 Outlook into a Gender Equal Future

    21 Biodiversity and Conservation
    21.1 What is Critical Habitat?
    21.2 Identification and Assessment of Critical Habitat
    21.3 Biodiversity Action Plan
    21.4 Biodiversity Management Plans and Procedures

    22 Acid Rock Drainage
    The Unseen Legacy
    22.1 Nature and Significance of Acid Rock Drainage
    22.2 Evaluating and Managing ARD

    23 Tailings Disposal
    Concepts and Practices
    23.1 Deciding on the Tailings Disposal Scheme
    23.2 Alternative Approaches to Tailings Disposal
    23.3 Surface Tailings Storage
    23.4 Submarine Tailings Placement

    24 Approaches to Waste Rock Disposal
    Issues and Risks
    24.1 Nature and Characteristics of Waste Rock
    24.2 Potential Impacts of Waste Rock Disposal
    24.3 Objectives of Waste Rock Disposal
    24.4 Site Selection for Waste Rock Storages
    24.5 Alternative Design and Construction Approaches
    24.6 Landform Design
    24.7 Short-Term and Long-Term Erosion Control
    24.8 Monitoring

    25 Erosion
    The Perpetual Disruptive Forces of Water and Wind
    25.1 Surface Water Erosion
    25.2 Wind Erosion

    26 Mine Closure
    It is not Over When it is Over
    26.1 Reasons for Mine Closure
    26.2 Objectives of Mine Closure
    26.3 Financing Mine Closure–The ‘Polluter Pays’ Principle
    26.4 Rehabilitation
    26.5 Pit Lakes
    26.6 Social Aspects of Mine Closure

    27 Looking Ahead
    27.1 Existing Trends in the Mining Sector
    27.2 Trends in Environmental Practice
    27.3 On and Beyond the Horizon–Global Change and Challenges
    27.4 Concluding Remarks


    Dr. Karlheinz Spitz is an environmental consultant with more than 20 years professional experience in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His main interest is the environmental assessment of large resource development projects in developing countries. He worked on many mines in South East Asia, covering a wide range of minerals and a diverse spectrum of environmental and social settings. Dr. Spitz understands mining as a sustainable economic activity; his focus is on the social, economic and environmental performance of mining. Dr. Spitz provides high level advice to Equator Principles Financial Institutions, and he is regular guest lecturer at various universities.

    John Trudinger is an environmental consultant with more than 40 years of professional experience. Initially qualified as a geologist, his initial experience was on geotechnical investigations for large infrastructure projects. In the early 1970’s he became involved in the emerging environmental business, and has since contributed as team member or team leader on environmental assessments for more than 100 resource development and infrastructure projects. He has worked throughout Australia, Asia and North America. His particular interest is the management of mine wastes in the mountainous wet tropics.