Development in Mining Technology
The development of mining technology plays an important role in the mining industry as well as in the environment. The mining industry plays a crucial role in our economy. The mining industry was very conservative in initiating and adopting new technologies in the past due to high capital requirements, environmental limitations and small profit margins. However, the mining industry has made significant progress in productivity, mining technologies used, environmental control, and worker health and safety. The mining industry has also introduced improved clean technology to carry out best mining processes and practices. Such practices have been applied in developing countries which achieved best results. When mining technologies become more widely available, there will be only technology gap between mining industries and countries.
The mining industries continue to play their essential role in sustainable technological development to improve their performance, reduce environmental pollution to all media and enhance the quality of life within their operational work area. The mining industry aims at adopting and implementing innovative technologies through the usage of both mining and environmental technologies to create a better environment quality in mining industry areas, reduce negative impact to human health and environment, reduce water and air pollution, and land degradation.
Most of the recent developments made in mining technologies prove to be cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies. For example, Solvent-extraction/electro-winning (SXEW) is a hydrometallurgical process that differs from the traditional method of producing copper by milling, smelting, and refining. The development of the SXEW process helps in the low-cost production of copper from waste and raw ore dumps of copper minerals excavated from copper mines. SXEW helps United States and few other copper-producing countries very much. EESTECH provides environmentally sustainable technologies that have direct application in the world’s coal mining and energy industries. EESTECH’s Hybrid Coalmine Gas Technology (HCGT) is a recognized Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that uses waste coal and ventilated coalmine methane as a fuel source to produce cost effective clean coal energy. Clean coal technology offer solutions in the fight against global warming.
The development of new mining technologies helps to reduce production costs, enhance the quality of mined metals and minerals, enhance the quality of commodities using mined minerals, reduce adverse environmental effects, health and safety impacts. Thus the mining technological developments benefits consumers and producers, as well as nation’s economy, national defense, health and social well being.
The most developed and developing countries have already imposed environmental standards for emission, effluent, groundwater contamination, and hazard and toxic management guidelines. But because of weak law enforcement, lack of monitoring capability and skilled human resources, the mining industry do not obey. Hence, the environment standards must be harmonized within the developing countries in order to improve the environmental performance and management of mining industries.
Political and social institutions could exert enormous influence over the mining industry development. Political Institutions including central government, local government and public decision makers must creating international harmonization of environmental standards for better positioning for global competitiveness in mining product. Doing so will improve the corporate image of the mining industries as well as benefit the global consumers.
Workshops and training programs on pollution control and measurement techniques of mining activities, and development of network among mining partnership organizations should be carried out through internship and technical assistance in mining industries.
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