Sustainability in Mining: How can Mining be Sustainable?

November 3, 2021
Mohamed Zaki

Mohamed Zaki

Mohamed Zaki is the Marketing Manager at Progeox. He has an undergraduate degree in Mining Engineering CO-OP from McGill University. With an opportunity to do 3 research studies with excellent professors from McGill University and experience in open-pit mining, he developed an interest in analyzing data using powerful programs. Upon joining the Promine team, Mohamed worked as a Quality Assurance & Support Specialist, then obtained a position as a Sales Specialist. A few months later, he took the role of a Marketing Specialist in which he currently operates to promote the professional image and products of Promine Company.

In today’s multiple industries, building a climate strategy and being sustainable is more important than ever. As Canada is already implementing multiple strategies in mining sustainability, a few Latin American countries are getting inspired and starting to follow the same path. One example can relate to Lithium South Development Corporation, where the Company appointed several technical advisors to complete and Environmental Baseline Study at the Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project. The Company is also evaluating three different types of Direct Lithium Extraction Technology (DLE), a process aimed to be more sustainable in mineral processing. 

The mining sector is responsible for 4 to 7 percent of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions globally. This occurs mainly from mining operations, power consumption, methane emissions, mineral processing processes and coal mining activities. The mining industry has however just begun to set sustainability goals, which are well below the Paris Agreement goals, which is to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40 percent by 2050. The Mining Association of Canada’s: Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) has set the example of mining sustainability globally. TSM’s program aims to support mining Companies in managing key environmental and social risks. The program also  evaluate eight critical aspects of social and environmental performance, perform validation, and publicly report them against 30 distinct performance indicators.  All Companies that are members of implementing associations must follow TSM’s standard. The program’s main focuses are Accountability, Transparency and Credibility. Many other countries such as Finland, the Philippines, Brazil and Australia have already adopted this program in an effort to contribute to sustainability in mining. 

Adopting strategies to achieve mining sustainability requires a capital cost and many Companies are already investing in this; we can however not neglect the fact that mining is not needed. As populations across countries need more and more materials every year, recycling can only be sustainable to some extent. Mining is however an essential need in life and will continue to be. By investing in mining sustainability and following strategies like TSM’s globally recognized program, we can achieve mining sustainability across the world. 

References: 

Canada, G. A. (2021, April 12). Canada sets a world standard for sustainable mining. Retrieved from https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/canadexport/0003604.aspx?lang=eng 

Delevingne, L., Glazener, W., Grégoir, L., & Henderson, K. (2021, October 12). Climate risk and decarbonization: What every mining CEO needs to know. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/climate-risk-and-decarbonization-what-every-mining-ceo-needs-to-know

Lithium South Development Corporation: Environmental and Social Baseline Study. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/lithium-south-development-corporation-environmental-120000006.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9sLmZhY2Vib29rLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAACuOXT9aVjfRGYZmn50twcn89GiI9ycGQLriM7KSZHAJA99muINoZHOwsUSUhDQNjkbMHmCj-RZ34ryLKHAM5lGj6NEVUr4RrCmat8shQfLKvCpx-pm_2WYIvz-V-X2m2Q-I1utWih6BDeagKdmYllc5d3p-DpZjjqkovbIEITmu

Towards Sustainable Mining. (2021, September 20). Retrieved from https://mining.ca/towards-sustainable-mining/

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