Guide No Footprints Next To Mine

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As a result, mining companies are looking beyond fresh, drinkable water to alternate water sources that may not be suitable for agriculture or human consumption but are fit for industrial purposes. They are also coming up with clever ways to reduce, reuse and recycle water onsite. About half of the treated water is used for mining operations and the rest is released into the Rio Chili to be accessed by farmers around Arequipa. To learn more about this project, read Canadian International Resources and Development Institute's case study.

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The environmental footprint of a mine is measured primarily by the amount of greenhouse gas released and the amount of water and fossil fuel consumed. The deeper the mine, the more energy is required. Mines need energy for blasting, hauling, crushing, ventilation and processing, and the dominant energy sources for mines in Canada are diesel fuel and electricity.

Converting diesel trucks and equipment to run on battery power dramatically diminishes the footprint of a mining operation as it reduces emissions and the need to run large ventilation systems that remove emissions from and pump breathable air into underground mines.

Canadian gold mining company Goldcorp is building Canada's first fully electric underground mine at its Borden Lake project near Chapleau, in Ontario. Over the border in Quebec, Nouveau Monde Graphite is hoping to be the first to build an all-electric, open-pit mine with a carbon-neutral footprint at its Matawinie project, where construction is planned to start in the middle of Each scoop of rock removed from the earth at a mining operation contains a small amount of valuable ore and a lot of waste rock.

A substantial portion of the energy, water and effort on a mine site is used to move, process and store this waste rock.

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To make mining operations more efficient, innovative technologies are being used to identify what is ore and what is waste rock. Canadian mining company Teck Resources partnered with another Canadian company, MineSense, to trial a bucket-mounted shovel sensor at the Highland Valley Copper mine in British Columbia.

The sensors are mounted on the shovel bucket and use X-rays to tell the difference between waste rock and valuable ore. The load is then either sent to the mill for processing or handled as waste rock. To learn more about this technology, read the Teck article.

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The quality of the water leaving a mine site is an environmental and social concern, particularly for local communities and ecosystems. Mines in developed countries like Canada must adhere to strict regulations when returning water to the environment and prevent the unplanned release of potentially contaminated process water. When combined, they form a slurry.

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This slurry is stored in a natural or engineered structure called a tailings facility. Major tailings failures, along with a desire to use fewer resources and reduce the water footprint of a mine, is driving the mining industry in Canada and globally to come up with better ways to store tailings. Half Moon Bay.

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