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Sustainable Mining – Is it Really Possible?. John A. Meech University of British Columbia Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada [email protected]

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Sustainable mining is it really possible

Sustainable Mining –Is it Really Possible?

John A. Meech

University of British Columbia

Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

[email protected]

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


Sustainable mining is it really possible

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


Sustainable mining is it really possible

CERM3 Mission Statement

  • Foster high regard for Sustainable Miningpractices and concern for the environment

  • Develop innovative methods to ensure the future sustainability of the Mining Industry

  • Train the next generation of Mining and Processing Engineers for the 21st Century

  • Improve the image of Mining in society

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


Papers and topics

Papers and Topics

  • Suzette McFaul: creating small businesses in mining communities

  • Chris Anderson: Phytoextraction in developing countries

  • Jessica Wang: Remining Old Tailings Dams

  • Gustavo Angelosi: Changing Habits of Artisanal Miners

  • Ladan Mohammadi: Confined Spaces Issues

  • Mory Ghomshei: High-temperature Geothermal Energy in Canada

  • Ricky Gu: Bitcoin – the "New Gold" for a Safe-haven investment

  • Sixto Aguero: Energy Use in Cement Production

  • John Meech: Fuzzy Logic for decision-making

  • Peipei Shi: Phytomining PGMs

  • André Xavier: First Nations Issues in Canada


Ubc cerm3 at britannia beach

UBC-CERM3 at Britannia Beach

Britannia Beach

UBC-CERM3 has been involved at Britannia Beach since 2001 when we installed a plug inside the 2200 Level tunnel to create a research facility.

This plug had the “spin-off” benefit of eliminating all pollution flowing into Britannia Creek and the surface waters of Howe Sound.


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Reclamation Issues in 2001

  • Acid mine drainage from tunnels (620 m3/hr) - ~800 kg of Cu & Zn /day

  • Over 10,000 tonnes of metal since closure

  • Groundwater contamination on the Fan - impacts on aquatic life

  • Waste dumps and stockpiles and tailings at bottom of Howe Sound

  • Public safety - sealing abandoned adits, demolition of derelict buildings


Millennium plug research project

Millennium Plug Research Project

Pollution Plume – pre 2001


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Some people like to drink the Britannia Creek water and it is now safe to do so, although like all natural water streams in the wild, it is not recommended without prior chemical treatment.


Outcome september 2011

Outcome – September 2011

Return of Adult Pink Salmon to Britannia Creek

Numerous Media Reports


Epcor water treatment plant

EPCOR Water Treatment Plant

Started up December 2005

Capital Cost= ~ $12.0M

Operating Costs= ~ $ 1.5M


Revenue generation potential

Revenue Generation Potential

187.0 tonnes per year of contained copper

Cu Concentrate

51.1% Cu, 2.1% Zn, 0.24% Fe, 33.1% S

185.5 tonnes per year of contained zinc

Zn Concentrate

52.4% Zn, 1.5% Cu, 0.3% Cd, 0.8% Fe, 27.1% S

Combined Annual Value = $615,000 net smelter return

Potential Cladding Material Value = $895,000 from sludge

Metal Recovery Plant Capital Costs = $2,500,000 to $4,500,000

Additional Benefits

Value = $64,000 per year

Lime Savings (32%)

Value = $13,600 - $18,000

Sludge Reduction (15-20%)

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


Aspects of sustainable mining

Aspects of Sustainable Mining

Sustaining

The Company

The Environment

The Communities

Technical-economic Issues

Environmental protection and remediation

Creating happy, productive communities

occupational health and safety

preventing or mitigating emissions and impacts

providing employment, health care, education

First Nations/Aboriginal/Indigenous People


Aspects of sustainable mining1

Aspects of Sustainable Mining

Correcting legacy sites

Over 1,000 derelict sites in Canada

Who is responsible?

Can we prioritize this work?

Future mine closure plans

Develop walk-away solutions?

Restore the site or change its use?

Practice perpetual monitoring & treatment?

Dealing with Artisanal Mining

Site Remediation (environmental and social)

Training in new processing methods


Sustainable mining is it really possible

What is Sustainability?

- like maybe 600 or more

  • a number of definitions exist

  • The Bruntland Commission's definition

"to meet the needs of the present without

compromising the ability of future

generations to meet their needs."

Note: temporal, political, social, and spatial

components are part of this definition


Components of sustainable mining

Components of Sustainable Mining

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainability

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Exploitation

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Government and

Regulations

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Investing for

The Future

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Politics

Cultural Values

Social

Environment

Society

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Working with

Communities

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Sharing the

Wealth

Politics

Social

Environment

Society

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

Government and

Regulations

Sharing the

Wealth

Politics

Cultural Values

Social

Environment

Society

Investing for

The Future

Working with

Communities

Exploitation

Physical

Environment

Economics

Technology


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

  • Exploitation

  • Government and Regulation

  • Investing for the Future

  • Cultural Values

  • Working with Communities

  • Sharing the Wealth

Are these contexts always in conflict?

If so, what generates such depth of conflict?


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Contexts of Sustainable Mining

The "debate" is between

  • The "Common Good" and the Individual

  • Scientific Belief and Faith-based Reasoning

  • The Strong and the Weak

  • The Rich and the Poor ("Occupy the mine?")

  • Producers and Consumers


Sustainable mining is it really possible

Causes of the Conflict

Conflict arises because of

UNCERTAINTY

Earth’s resources

Financial resources

Availability of extracted values

Mining impacts on the environment

Social environment of the mine

Impact on social and cultural values

Resources/people to achieve goals


A new definition

A New Definition

Sustainable Mining

is

"evaluation and management of the uncertainties and

risks associated with earth resource development."

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


Sustainable mining is it really possible

The Evolution of Sustainable Mining

  • 1970 – The Environmental Movement

  • 1988– The Bruntland Commission

  • 1995– Protecting the Environment accepted

  • 2013 – Sustainability became mature

  • But what's next?

  • Saving the planet (Kyoto Protocol - 1997)

  • Peace in our time (Iraqi-US War - 2003)

  • Sharing the wealth (Global Warming - 2007)

  • Living forever (Nanotechnology - 2012)

  • Post-humanism (The Machine Age – 2017)


Life expectancy at birth canada

Life Expectancy at Birth - Canada

Source: Statistics Canada

2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


World population trend by decade

World Population Trend by Decade

Year World population 10-yr growth

(mid-year) rate (%)

__________________________________________________________________________

1950 2.56 18.9

1960 3.04 22.0

1970 3.71 20.2

1980 4.45 18.5

1990 5.28 15.2

2000 6.08 12.6

20101 6.85 10.7

20201 7.58 8.7

20301 8.25 7.3

20401 8.85 5.6

20501 9.35 4.1

  • 1 Estimated - Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.


World population trend factors

World Population Trend Factors

  • Fertility rates

    • Rates in Third World 2-3 times Developed World

  • Mortality rates

    • Need for health care and basic infrastructure

    • Epidemics – HIV / AIDS

  • Poverty rates

    • When poverty declines, fertility rates decline

    • When poverty declines, mortality rates decline

  • Life expectancy

    • Major breakthrough expected to defeat "old age" via the SENS Project


  • Fertility trends sub saharan africa

    Fertility Trends – sub-Saharan Africa


    Hiv aids in sub saharan africa 1985 2003

    HIV / AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa1985 – 2003


    Un millennium development goals targets

    UN Millennium Development Goals/Targets

    • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

      • - 50% reduction from 1990 levels by 2015 of people living on < $1.25/day

      • - 100% productive employment for all

    • Achieve universal primary education

      • - Ensure all children by 2015 are able to complete primary schooling

    • Promote gender equality and empower women

      • - Eliminate gender disparity in schooling


    Un millennium development goals targets1

    UN Millennium Development Goals/Targets

    • Reduce child mortality

      • - Lower under-5 mortality rate by 67% between 1990 and 2015

    • Improve maternal health

      • - Reduce maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015

    • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

      • - Halt spread of HIV/AIDS & start reversal by 2015


    Un millennium development goals targets2

    UN Millennium Development Goals/Targets

    • Ensure environmental sustainability

      • - Integrate sustainable development into policies

      • - Reduce biodiversity losses significantly by 2010

      • - Access to drinking water and basic sanitation - 50% increase by 2010

      • - Improve lives of >100 M slum dwellers by 2020

    • Develop global partnerships for development

      • - Open, non-discriminatory, rule-based, & predictable trading/financial system

      • - Meet special needs of least-developed countries

      • - Long-term sustainable debt for developing countries

      • - Provide access to affordable, essential drugs

      • Make new IT and communication systems available


    Un millennium development progress by 2009

    UN Millennium Development Progress by 2009

    • Human development indicators are up

    • Extreme poverty is falling rapidly

    • Global poverty down by 40% since 1990

    • Number of people earning <$1.25 per day declined by ~500 M from 1991 to 2005

    • From 42% to 25% of developed world population

    • East Asia reached extreme poverty goal by 2005

    • Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is also falling rapidly


    Un millennium development progress by 20091

    UN Millennium Development Progress by 2009

    • Children not in school: 115 M (2002) >> 101 M (2007)

    • Primary school completion rate (2007)

      • 86% - all developing countries

      • 93% for middle-income countries, and

      • 65 % for low-income countries (up from 51% in 1991)

  • Access to safe drinking water is on track globally

    • rapid expansion of infrastructure spending

    • over 1.6 B people gained access to new sources of drinking water – from 76 % (1990) to 86 % (2006)


  • Poverty percent living on 1 25 day

    Poverty – Percent living on <$1.25/day

    52%

    • 48% of the developing world subsist on < $2.00/day

    26%


    Can we supply the material needs of the developing world

    Can we supply the material needs of the Developing World?

    Problem 1: Declining ore grades

    Problem 2: Environmental and social issues

    - Legacy sites

    - Artisanal miners

    - Historical views of mining


    Declining trend in ore grades copper

    Declining Trend in Ore Grades - Copper


    Declining trend in ore grades gold

    Declining Trend in Ore Grades - Gold


    Top ten gold mines in the world 2012

    Top Ten Gold Mines in the World (2012)

    Name TonnesGrade Contained Location Owner

    (Mt) (g/t) Ounces

    1. Grasberg4,909 0.56 88,106,000IndonesiaFreeport-McMoran

    2. Lihir 830 2.10 56,000,000PNGNewcrest

    3. Muruntau 625 2.49 50,000,000UzbekistanGov't. Usbekistan

    4. Mponeng 12212.60 49,550,000South AfricaAnglogold Ashanti

    5. Olimpiada 459 3.22 47,500,000RussiaPolyus Gold

    6. Oyu Tolgoi3,754 0.38 46,085,000MongoliaIvanhoe/Rio Tinto

    7. Pueblo Viejo 490 2.38 37,452,000Dom. Rep.Barrick/Goldcorp

    8. Cadia East2,300 0.45 33,000,000AustraliaNewcrest

    9. Obuasi 154 5.98 29,520,000GhanaAnglogold Ashanti

    10. South Deep 149 6.16 29,000,000South AfricaGoldfields

    http://www.nrh.co.il/i/pdf/NRH_Research_2012_World_Gold_Deposits.pdf


    World gold geological reserves

    World Gold Geological Reserves

    Gold Deposit Size Number of Deposits Gold Reserves

    (measured + indicated + inferred)

    >100,000 oz 4,400 115,000 t Au

    >10,000 oz 22,000 15,000 t Au

    FACT: Limited knowledge about small gold deposit reserves

    Source: Schodde, 2010


    Four possible solutions

    Four Possible Solutions

    • Recycling

    • Mining small, high-grade deposits

      - working with artisanal miners

    • Deep-sea Mining

    • Mining in Space


    Recycling e waste cell phones

    Recycling: e-Waste (cell phones)

    • 7 billion mobile phones (2012) worldwide

    • 87% of the world population has a cell phone

    • Asian countries have highest cell/capita (~3)

    • Cell phone life is about 18 months

    • A cell phone (100 g) consists of about:

      • 58% plastic

      • 25% metals

      • 16% ceramics

      • 1% flame retardant

    Source: Rankin, W.J. 2011. Minerals, Metals and Sustainability. CRC Press, 419p.


    Metals in a cell phone

    Metals in a Cell Phone

    • Grades are far above today's ores

    • Problem – diffused locations & low tonnage


    Sustainable mining is it really possible

    Urban Mining – sorting e-waste by hand


    Deep ocean mining black smokers

    Deep-Ocean Mining – black-smokers


    Distribution of hydrothermal vent fields

    Distribution of Hydrothermal Vent Fields


    Deep ocean mining impacts

    Deep-Ocean Mining - Impacts


    Lockheed martin and mn nodule mining

    Lockheed-Martin and Mn-nodule mining


    Nautilus minerals inc solwara prospects

    Nautilus Minerals Inc. – Solwara Prospects

    http://www.nautilusminerals.com

    0 20 40 60 80 100 km


    Nautilus minerals inc

    Nautilus Minerals Inc.

    http://www.nautilusminerals.com


    Mining in space hunting for asteroids

    Mining in Space – Hunting for Asteroids

    • Planetary Resources

    ARKYD Series 100 - Space Telescope

    The ARKYD 100, a commercial space telescope within reach of private citizens


    Mining in space hunting for asteroids1

    Mining in Space – Hunting for Asteroids

    • Planetary Resources


    Mining in space hunting for asteroids2

    Mining in Space – Hunting for Asteroids

    • Planetary Resources

    • Resources of Interest

    • Helium-3 (Moon)

    • Platinum Group Metals (Asteroids)

    • Space Exploration Support

    • Hydrogen

    • Oxygen

    • Titanium


    Conclusion

    Conclusion

    • Sustainable Mining is possible, but complex

    • Individuals & consortia must participate

    • The World is becoming a better place

    • Poverty is being reduced

    • Ore grades are declining

    • Mining in the 21st Century will evolve into

      • Mining smaller, high-grade deposits (artisanal mining)

      • Urban Mining – recycling e-waste

      • Deep-sea mining of high-grade black-smokers

      • Mining in Space (true sustainability!)


    Acknowledgement

    Acknowledgement

    • Canada Foundation for Innovation

    • BC Knowledge Development Fund

    • Stewart Blusson UBC Grant

    • Teck Resources, BHP Billiton, Shell Oil

    • US Department of State, DARPA

    • UNIDO

    • All the UBC research collaborators

    2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


    Thanks for listening questions

    Thanks for listening!Questions?

    2014 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT AND EXHIBITIONSHECHTMAN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM


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