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Local processing on the site

akbakb Posts: 154 ✭✭✭
One way to reduce waste and the environmental impact of open cast and underground mining might be to process the raw material on site, at the mine, and quickly return the waste back to where it was mined from.

So the footprint for an open cast mine would only correspond to the area actually being mined at that point in time; former areas having been covered in and replanted.

Underground mines would have a minimal footprint above ground as all mining and processing (extraction/refining) would take place underground in the mine. Only the extracted/refined product would emerge from the mine. There would be no old (collapsing tunnels) as they are filled in when no longer in use, and this would prevent subsidence caused by mining.

There are potential opportunities to do this via the use of innovative technologies, machines and robots. The benefits mean less environmental impact, no subsidence, and no transporting of waste materials. It's also likely to offer an efficient and profitable enterprise.


  • NickAzerNickAzer Portland, OR, USAPosts: 162 admin
    Thank you Adam! @akb We've posted some new discussions about Tailings in Key Issues - It'd be great to have your input on those threads as well! (And if you happen to know any experts in Tailings, send them on over! :) )
  • FERFER Posts: 7
    Hello @akb, I agree with your proposal to perform local processing on the site. For me, it must be done through on-site mining, which allows not only to avoid waste management, but also has a dramatic reduction in water use, improve safety and productivity, eliminate environmental problems existing today and also improve financial parameters
  • akbakb Posts: 154 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for your feedback @FER
    It seems like innovations have numerous potential benefits and opportunities to offer the mining industry; as they do in all sectors. You may like this summary of amazing benefits derived from innovation over the last ~ 100 years:
  • FERFER Posts: 7
    Thank you for your interesting article @akb
    Innovation are doing an exponential change of our daily life and we have to give our contribution persuing a dramatical change to the existing mining explotation
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