Mining and the Environment: From Ore to Metal, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mining and the Environment

From Ore to Metal, 1st Edition

By Karlheinz Spitz, John Trudinger

CRC Press

900 pages

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Description

The history of mining is replete with controversy, much of it relating to environmental damage and consequent community outrage. Over recent decades there has been increasing pressure to improve the environmental and social performance of mining operations, particularly in developing countries. The industry has responded by embracing the ideals of corporate social responsibility.

This book 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 the issues of concern, the book illustrates how environmental impact assessment as defined in "The Equator Principles", integrates with the mining lifecycle, and how environmental assessment aims to eliminate the negative and to accentuate the positive mining impacts. The text illustrates the wide range of environmental and social concerns and opportunities. Practical approaches are provided to manage issues ranging from land acquisition and resettlement or indigenous peoples issues, through the technical aspects of acid rock drainage and mine waste management, to a thorough analysis of ways and means of sharing mining benefits with host communities so that these benefits are not transitory, allowing mining to become a sustainable economic activity.

The wide coverage of issues raised illustrated by many real-life case studies, makes this practice-oriented book a reference and key reading for operators in the field, as well as for environmental consultants, regulators, and students. This book will also be of interest to environmental personnel in the oil & gas industry as much of the subject matter applies to the extractive industries as a whole.

Reviews

"As a textbook, Mining and the Environment is ideal for university-level students who want or need to understand the full range of environmental issues relating to mining."

Mining Environmental Management, December 2008

"The wide coverage of issues, particularly the social sustainability issues of mining and the many case studies make this a good reference book for environmental and sustainability consultants, engineers, regulators and operators in the mining industry."

"Given the in depth analysis of issues, and te presentation style with a good number of sketches, photos and an easily understandable narration, I can recommend this as an essential text book for mining students and those who want to move to the mine environmental management area."

The Environmental Engineer, August 2009

"Spitz and Trudinger excel in providing an accessible, in-depth technical account of the mining process from the perspective of management of environmental and, to a lesser extent, social issues - all in a single volume. […] Mining and the environment is an epic, expansive and crucial resource for all those engaged in research, practice and advocacy on mining and sustainable development."

Daniel Franks, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland

"A mega-book for mega-mines […] This is the book equivalent of some of the megamines that are featured between its covers. In 22 chapters spanning almost 900 pages the authors cover everything from acid mine drainage to zinc. Fortunately, they have endeavoured to make the book readable and accessible by extensively using graphics and diagrams, including a series of colour plates at the beginning; inserting numerous case studies in text boxes; placing an overview of a metal as a footnote to the title pages of each chapter; and adding marginal notes to highlight key points in the text.

[…]

It is heartening that some of the more challenging and controversial issues of relevance to mining are covered, including those relating to community development, indigenous peoples, land acquisition and resettlement, and corruption and transparency. […] Without doubt, this book is unashamedly intended for people trying to improve the performance of mines, rather than those aiming to prevent them.

It is rare for consultants to have the time or inclination to share their practical experience and insights with others, and these authors are to be commended for this. Overall this is an impressive book that should be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone involved with or interested in the extractive industries."

Theo Hacking, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Sept. 2009, pp. 253-254

Table of Contents

1. MINERALS, WEALTH AND PROGRESS

  • History of Mining
  • The Path of Minerals from Cradle to Grave
  • Minerals – A Natural Resource Blessing?
  • What Makes the Mining Industry Different?
  • The Unique Risk Profile of Mining
  • Meeting Environmental Issues Head On
  • Environmental Assessment Practice – Eliminate the Negative, Accentuate the Positive
  • The Equator Principles – Improved Practices for Better Outcomes
  • Caring for Future Generations

2. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

  • Protection before Exploration
  • Mining Companies are not Governments
  • Environmental Assessment in the Mining Cycle
  • Managing the Environmental Impact Assessment Process
  • Common Themes and Core Principles
  • When is an EIA Required?
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Step-by-Step
  • Documenting the Findings
  • Obtaining EIA Approval
  • The Costs of Delay
  • Environmental Management and Monitoring is Important
  • Planning for Mine Closure
  • What Environmental Impact Assessment is Not

3. INVOLVING THE PUBLIC

  • Forging Partnerships and Trust
  • Historical Perspective
  • Planning Stakeholder Involvement
  • Getting To Know Your Stakeholders
  • How to Identify Stakeholders?
  • Engaging Stakeholders
  • Conflict Identification and Management
  • Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Public Involvement
  • Who Guards the Guardians?
  • Common Mistakes

4. THE ANATOMY OF A MINE

  • It All Begins in the Earth
  • Exploration – From Reviewing Data to Taking Bulk Samples
  • Feasibility - Is it Worth Mining?
  • Engineering, Procurement, and Construction
  • Mining
  • Mine Waste Disposal
  • Ancillary Facilities
  • Design for Mine Closure
  • Artisanal Mining – Mining Outside of Established Laws

5. MINING METHODS VARY WIDELY

  • Mining Methods
  • Ferrous metals and ferroalloys
  • Non-ferrous ores
  • Industrial Minerals
  • Mineral (Fossil) Fuels
  • Gemstones

6. CONVERTING MINERALS TO METALS

  • Beneficiation – Using Basic Physics
  • Pyro metallurgy – The Use of Fire
  • Hydrometallurgical Mineral Processing – Essentially Chemical Processing
  • Refining

7. OUR ENVIRONMENT

  • A Set of Natural and Human Features
  • The Atmosphere - Air, Weather, and Climate
  • The Lithosphere – Geology, Land Form, and Earth Resources
  • The Hydrosphere – Storage and Movement of Water
  • The Biosphere – Life on Earth
  • The Social Sphere – Social and Cultural Fabric of Society
  • The Economic Sphere – Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Goods and Services
  • Judging State and Value of the Environment
  • What are Nature’s Economic Values?
  • International Laws Pertaining to Natural and Environmental Resources

8. THE BASELINE

  • Understanding the Host Environment
  • The Importance of Conflict Identification
  • The Use of Indicators
  • Environmental Scoping
  • Conducting Baseline Surveys –Ways and Means
  • Converting Data to Information
  • The Use of Remote Sensing Techniques and Geographic Information Systems

9. IDENTIFYING AND EVALUATING IMPACTS

  • Working within Limitations
  • Deciding on a Direction
  • Deciding on the Methodologies
  • Linking Cause and Effect
  • Identifying Project Impacts
  • Evaluating Environmental Change
  • Cultural Heritage
  • The Special Nature of Community Impacts
  • Do People Count? – The Concept of Environmental Justice
  • Group Decision-Making in Environmental Assessment
  • Reflecting on the Objective Nature of Environmental Assessment
  • Dealing with Uncertainties and Risks

10. EMPHASIZING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING

  • Managing what Matters
  • Measure to Manage
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Commitment, Funds and Resources

11. METALS, THEIR BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS AND HARMFUL IMPACTS

  • Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity of Metals
  • Selected Metals

12. Was The Environmental Assessment Adequate?

  • Reviewing an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Mine Auditing
  • Thinking Outside of the Box
  • Responding to Unforeseen Occurrences

13. THE RANGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

  • Physical Impacts from Mine Structures and Waste Management Units
  • Mine wastes
  • Mine Site Effluent Streams
  • Biodiversity and Habitats
  • Social Change
  • Mining and Climate Change
  • Surface Mining versus Underground Mining
  • Accidental Impacts

14. LAND ACQUISITION AND RESETTLEMENT

  • When Property and Development Rights Collide
  • Some Useful Definitions
  • Compensation- A Right, Not a Need
  • Resettlement Priorities
  • Accounting Resettlement Losses
  • The Social Risks of Resettlement
  • What Determines the Severity of Resettlement Losses?
  • Estimating the Significance of Resettlement
  • Managing Resettlement
  • Common Issues around Resettlement

15. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

  • Ensuring Long term Benefits
  • What Defines a Community?
  • Pointers to Success
  • Community Development Process
  • Preparing for Mine Closure
  • Community Programs – What to Do?
  • Local Benefits Do Not Always Follow
  • Common Problems and Solutions

16. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ISSUES

  • Some Basic Considerations
  • Issues and Opportunities
  • Strategies for Interaction with Indigenous Communities
  • Preserving or Restoring Autonomy
  • Sharing Benefits
  • Monitoring Effectiveness of Programs

17. ACID ROCK DRAINAGE

  • The Unseen Legacy
  • Nature and Significance of Acid Rock Drainage
  • Effects of Acid Rock Drainage
  • Evaluating the Occurrence or Risk of ARD
  • Assessing Potential for ARD
  • ARD Controls

18. TAILINGS DISPOSAL CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES

  • Deciding on the Tailings Disposal Scheme
  • Alternative Approaches to Tailings Disposal
  • Surface Tailings Storage
  • Submarine Tailings Placement

19. APPROACHES TO WASTE ROCK DISPOSAL

  • Nature and Characteristics of Waste Rock
  • Design of Waste Rock Disposal
  • Potential Impacts of Waste Rock Disposal
  • Monitoring

20. EROSION – The Perpetual Disruptive Force of Water and Wind

  • The Disruptive Force of Water
  • Five Contributing Factors
  • Managing Water Erosion
  • Fugitive Emissions by Wind

21. MINE CLOSURE - It is not over when it is over

  • Principle Guidance
  • Financing Mine Closure
  • Objectives
  • Soil Preparation
  • Establishment of Vegetation
  • Progressive Rehabilitation versus Post-Closure Rehabilitation
  • Acceptance Criteria and Sustainability

22. EXISTING TRENDS

  • Existing Trends in the Mining Sector
  • Mining Company, Financial Institutions, Government, and Public (NGO) – All Have to Contribute
  • Strength and Weaknesses of Mining Companies – Size Matters
  • Mining in the Last Frontiers
  • Solutions Can Be Developed for Each Challenge

About the Authors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NAT010000
NATURE / Ecology
TEC009020
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Civil / General
TEC009150
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Civil / Soil & Rock
TEC010000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General