This document provides conservation practices to have minimum impact on biodiversity, state-of-the-art methods of mining and beneficiation for sustainable development, an integrated approach for the use of minerals, improvement of efficiency and equitable access to resources, and careful management of environmental and health impacts. 

Mining, minerals, and metals are important to economic and social development as they are essentials for modern living. However, supplies of minerals are limited, and sustainable management of natural resources requires the maintenance, rational and enhanced use, as well as a balanced consideration of ecology, economy, and social justice

Large amounts of material are involved in large-scale mining and minerals extraction. The problems arising from the change in the chemistry of million tons of natural ore during the processing steps and their resultant bioavailabilities are not well understood. Mining produces large volumes of waste and decisions regarding waste handling and other aspects of operations are often difficult and expensive to reverse; they need to be made correctly initially through mine closure planning.

Another challenge is the environmental legacy left by mining. The environmental issues of current mining operations are daunting enough. But in many ways far more troubling are some of the continuing effects of past mining and smelting. The loss of biodiversity is the other great challenge of mining sustainability. The loss of biodiversity is an irreversible loss.

Sandip Chattopadhyay, PhD., MBA
January 23, 2013
Fossil Energy
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