Green mining definition
Canada is recognized as a leading mining nation. Our minerals sector, which includes exploration, mining and related support activities, primary processing, and downstream product manufacturing, is a mainstay of the economy that supports jobs and economic activity in every region. Green technologies and clean energy applications. Mineral production. Mineral exploration. Canadian mining assets.
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Green mining definition
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- Supplying the green wave
- Minerals and the economy
- How smart, sustainable mining is reshaping the industry
- Sustainable Development and the Australian Minerals Sector
- Definition of 'Data Mining'
- How can mining become more environmentally sustainable?
- The mining of sand, a non-renewable resource
- Czech coal mining regions confronted with ‘hidden’ energy poverty
- Climate-Smart Mining: Minerals for Climate Action
- Is gold turning green?
Supplying the green wave
There is growing interest in the mineral deposits of the deep sea. This is largely due to depleting terrestrial deposits for metals such as copper, nickel, aluminium, manganese, zinc, lithium and cobalt, coupled with rising demand for these metals to produce high-tech applications such as smartphones and green technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric storage batteries.
By May , the International Seabed Authority ISA — which regulates activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction — had issued 29 contracts for the exploration of deep-sea mineral deposits. More than 1. But exploration may soon give way to exploitation. Commercial mining in national waters of Papua New Guinea is predicted to begin by Mining in international waters is expected to commence in The seafloor contains an extensive array of geological features.
These include abyssal plains 3,—6, m below the sea surface, volcanic underwater mountains known as seamounts, hydrothermal vents with bursting water heated by volcanic activity, and deep trenches such as the Mariana Trench, which at almost 11, m is the greatest depth registered in the ocean. These remote areas support species that are uniquely adapted to harsh conditions such as lack of sunlight and high pressure.
Many of these species are unknown to science. As the deep sea remains understudied and poorly understood, there are many gaps in our understanding of its biodiversity and ecosystems. This makes it difficult to thoroughly assess the potential impacts of deep-sea mining and to put in place adequate safeguards to protect the marine environment. Based on current knowledge of the deep sea, the following impacts of mining activities could affect its biodiversity and ecosystems:.
Disturbance of the seafloor The scraping of the ocean floor by machines can alter or destroy deep-sea habitats, leading to the loss of species and fragmentation or loss of ecosystem structure and function. Many species living in the deep sea are endemic — meaning they do not occur anywhere else on the planet — and physical disturbances in just one mining site can possibly wipe out an entire species. This is one of the biggest potential impacts from deep-sea mining.
Sediment plumes Some forms of deep-sea mining will stir up fine sediments on the seafloor consisting of silt, clay and the remains of microorganisms, creating plumes of suspended particles.
It is unclear how far these particles may disperse beyond the mining area, how long it would take for them to resettle on the seafloor, and to what extent they may affect ecosystems and species, for instance by smothering animals or harming filter-feeding species that depend on clear, clean water to feed, such as krill and whale sharks. Pollution Species such as whales, tuna and sharks could be affected by noise, vibrations and light pollution caused by mining equipment and surface vessels, as well as potential leaks and spills of fuel and toxic products.
A better understanding of the deep sea is necessary to guide mitigation strategies and proper enforcement of regulations in order to limit the environmental impacts of mining activities. Baseline studies Comprehensive baseline studies are needed to understand what species live in the deep sea, how they live, and how they could be affected by mining activities. More funds are needed for training and educational programmes focused on improving our understanding of the deep sea.
Environmental impact assessments High-quality environmental assessments are needed to assess the full range, extent and duration of environmental damage from deep-sea mining operations. These assessments are also needed to ensure that the loss of biodiversity as a result of mining operations is properly accounted for in mining regulations set by authorities, well before any decision to mine is approved. The costs to the marine environment should be included in the financial and economic assessments conducted by mining companies.
Mitigation Current technologies may not be sufficient to avoid serious and lasting harm to the environment, including the loss of biodiversity. Mining operations strategies will need to prioritise the avoidance of environmental impacts. This needs to include establishing protected area networks to keep large parts of the seabed undisturbed as well as stringent and precautionary controls on the permissible extent and duration of mining operations.
Minimising impacts should involve, among other things, improving mining equipment to reduce seafloor disturbance. Remedying environmental impacts has not yet been shown to be effective in practice. Enhanced regulation The ISA is operating with the dual mandate of promoting the development of deep-sea minerals whilst ensuring that this development is not harmful to the environment.
This challenging and conflicting mandate will require improved oversight by the international community — including government representatives and the general public — to ensure that marine life is adequately protected.
To avoid possible conflicts of interest due to the dual mandate of ISA, the organisation should consider divesting itself of some of its responsibilities, and placing them on independent entities. Circular economy The repair, recycling and reuse of products should be encouraged to help reduce the demand for raw materials from the deep sea.
Enhancing product design to make use of less or alternative materials can also reduce the demand. Issues Briefs related to nature conservation and sustainable development often have societal impacts beyond conservation. Differences in the way individuals and species look, act and function are the result of genetic diversity passed on by DNA or RNA.
Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum with properties ideally suited for a wide variety of applications including: packaging, building and construction, household and sports eq. Cuyvers, L. Deep seabed mining: a rising environmental challenge.
What is the issue? Why is it important? What can be done? Based on current knowledge of the deep sea, the following impacts of mining activities could affect its biodiversity and ecosystems: Disturbance of the seafloor The scraping of the ocean floor by machines can alter or destroy deep-sea habitats, leading to the loss of species and fragmentation or loss of ecosystem structure and function. Latest updates. Digital genetic information and conservation. Read more about Digital genetic information and conservation.
Peatlands and climate change. Read more about Peatlands and climate change. Marine plastic pollution. Read more about Marine plastic pollution. More information:.
PDF format. Issues Brief: Deep-sea mining. Follow us. Procurement Careers Terms and conditions Legal.
Minerals and the economy
But you may end up owning shares in oil companies, mining conglomerates or tobacco firms. A Reuters analysis of funds marketed to retail investors increasingly hungry for anything green shows asset managers are adopting a wide range of strategies to justify the sustainable label since the EU brought in disclosure rules in March. The EU's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation SFDR is an attempt to deliver transparency for investors focused on environmental, social and governance ESG issues but fund managers say the definition of sustainability is too vague and has created confusion about what makes the cut. DE Global Water fund. It actively invests in companies that improve the supply, management and quality of water and is marketed as falling under Article 8 of the SFDR, which means it is a fund that promotes "among other characteristics, environmental or social characteristics, or a combination of those characteristics". It's not just about what is legally required because it seems not very much is legally required," said Eric Christian Pedersen, head of responsible investments at Nordea Asset Management. From March 10, the rules automatically placed all investment funds into a coverall Article 6 category.
How smart, sustainable mining is reshaping the industry
View profile. The TSC will also determine whether any of those economic activities cause significant harm to any of the other environmental objectives in accordance with criteria 2 above. Work has commenced on elaborating the TSC for the first two environmental objectives climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. However, the regulation is still in draft form and will be adopted as soon as possible after the evaluation of the stakeholder feedback. The feedback period closed on 18 December , so we expect more information from the EU on the timetable for implementation in due course. The annexes to the delegated acts are where the TSC are set out in detail, together with very technical industry specific tests for various sectors and economic activities. Investors will need to use these annexes when determining whether or not the economic activity is sustainable. The Platform will therefore develop the TSC for the remaining four environmental objectives. Given the fundamental role mining has in most low-carbon and renewable energy technologies, it is interesting that the Taxonomy Regulation does not specifically address the mining, metals and minerals sector in the draft TSC. TSC have therefore not yet been established for the mining, metals and minerals sector; however, we set out below examples of how the sector would meet certain environmental objectives set out in the Taxonomy Regulation see the list of six environmental objectives above :.
Sustainable Development and the Australian Minerals Sector
Received for review June 8 th , , accepted December 20 th , , final version December 20 th , This paper explores the subject of CSR in the mining industry and the main synergies between CSR and environmental, safety and quality management systems, whose adoption has increased during recent decades. It proposes the establishment of a set of criteria for sustainability, ethics and human capital to be called CSR criteria. Whilst various international bodies have proposed CSR guides and indicators commonly used as references for Stock Market investments , there is evidence that the size of the company can act as a moderator factor to the adoption of those systems.
Definition of 'Data Mining'
A paradox of the mineral exploration sector is that it is both distinct and inseparable from the broader mining industry. Although the odds of a greenfields exploration project ever becoming a mine have been estimated at around one in one thousand, every mine begins life as an exploration project. With this in mind, explorers should always be mindful of the challenges facing the industry. In the coming decade, there will be no two greater challenges than the need to consistently demonstrate strong sustainability credentials, including appropriate environmental, social and governance ESG principles and practices, and to meet the growing material needs of the world economy and emerging green economy. More projects than ever are failing to advance not because of technical issues, but because of environmental and social issues.
How can mining become more environmentally sustainable?
One of the largest mining operations ever seen on Earth aims to despoil an ocean we are only barely beginning to understand. A short bureaucratic note from a brutally degraded microstate in the South Pacific to a little-known institution in the Caribbean is about to change the world. Few people are aware of its potential consequences, but the impacts are certain to be far-reaching. The only question is whether that change will be to the detriment of the global environment or the benefit of international governance. In the three months since it was fired, the sound of that shot has reverberated through government offices, conservation movements and scientific academies, and is now starting to reach a wider public, who are asking how the fate of the greatest of global commons can be decided by a sponsorship deal between a tiny island and a multinational mining corporation. The risks are enormous.
The mining of sand, a non-renewable resource
The environmental impact of mining activities is a key issue concerning the industry. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act , enacted in , provides many regulations to ensure mine sites are operated, and any environmental damage is remediated, in a responsible way. Examples include the reduction of greenhouse gases, selective mining approaches to reduce the ecological footprint, and reduction in chemical use.
Czech coal mining regions confronted with ‘hidden’ energy povertyRELATED VIDEO: What is Bitcoin Mining? (In Plain English)
South Africa's mining industry is supported by an extensive and diversified resource base, and has since its inception been a cornerstone of South Africa's economy. The changes which have come about in our country make it necessary to prepare the industry for the challenges which are facing all South Africans as we approach the twenty-first century. The review process has taken account of the problems and opportunities confronting the mining industry against the backdrop of changes in the country's policy and institutional environment. In particular, the passage to the Mine Health and Safety Act of will have far reaching impacts on the industry in the areas of health and safety and human resource development.
Climate-Smart Mining: Minerals for Climate Action
The new frontier in greener mining and metals will require digital transformation towards end-to-end sustainability. Increasingly, societal expectations, regulatory scrutiny as well as new, post-pandemic business challenges have redefined what more sustainable mining and metals means. On top of that, mining and metals companies that have an eye on accessing capital from a variety of financing sources must prove that their operations can viably meet the needs of the planet, people and profits. In certain jurisdictions, mining companies should be mindful that they may be required to meet market expectation to provide enhanced prospectus disclosure. Further, many exchanges require mining companies to provide specific disclosures in or with the prospectus, such as The former has proven to be unsustainable as wild commodity price swings and the recent pandemic has revealed how all-encompassing disruptions can be to mining and metals operations, which were not fast or adaptive enough. Nationalism is adding to the uncertainties businesses will face, requiring them to be nimbler so they can become more resilient as they adapt to new supply chains and sourcing.
Is gold turning green?
Based on its scale, gold mining could be considered relatively inconsequential in terms of total global greenhouse gas emissions. But the industry cannot afford to be complacent. Scrutiny of the environmental impact of mining has never been greater and with COP26 on the horizon the spotlight will only intensify. Miners not striving to reduce their carbon footprint are likely to lose favour with investors and struggle to secure project financing.