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Pages 13-18

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From page 13...
... During mineral exploration and mine clevelopment, environmental damages are generally minor, localized, and can be remediated relatively easily. The initial assessment of a region, for example, relies largely on satellite images, airborne geophysical surveys, and large-scale geological maps; environmental effects are minimal.
From page 14...
... Mining and beneficiation create three types of solid waste: overburden, soil and rock removed to gain access to a mineral deposit; waste rock, separated from ore curing mining; and tailings, fine waste particles produced during beneficiation. in the absence of water, these solid wastes would cause mainly aesthetic environmental damage.
From page 15...
... Special problems are caused by abandoned mines that have not been properly rehabilitated; society as a whole then has to bear the costs of either unmitigated environmental damage or rehabilitation. "Sustainable" mining, therefore, has two dimensions: first, that an appropriate balance be found between the benefits of mining and the associated damages or costs; and second, ancl more important, that new and better methods of mining and mineral processing be developed to reduce both production costs and environmental damages.
From page 16...
... The absence of information on both environmental damages and on compliance costs makes it difficult to determine whether existing policies are appropriate. Finally, systematic data on best practices in environmental management would provide a standard against which to compare current and future performance of individual companies.
From page 17...
... Sustainability challenges earth scientists to communicate more clearly with both policymakers and the public. Environmental management in mining and mineral processing has undergone a revolution over the past several decades.

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