This paper examines the concepts of “cleaner production (CP)” and “pollution prevention” in the mining context. These terms, which have become the subject of important international conferences in recent years, are increasingly being misconstrued. It has become particularly challenging to apply these environmental management concepts to mining and allied industries because of the nature of their operations. Specifically, as prospective deposits are geologically fixed, management cannot randomly select the locations of mine sites, and, as a result, is commonly scrutinized for conducting operations in ecologically sensitive areas. Furthermore, unlike most industrial activity, mines, quarries and smelting complexes have the ability to cause widespread environmental damages on numerous fronts. To avoid being interpreted generically and therefore misused, CP, pollution prevention, and related environmental management concepts (e.g. waste minimization, toxic waste reduction etc.) must be defined specifically for the mining industry before being incorporated into important policies and legislation.
Minerals Engineering – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2003
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