Effective ways to reduce mine waste

mine wastemine waste
mine wastemine waste


Effective ways to reduce mine waste

The mining industry is one of South Africa’s biggest resources and helps keep the country as a key player within the global industry. However, the mining industry does have a negative impact on the environment, particularly on our drinking water. Acid mine drainage and toxic waste, among other things, can cause many problems from the environment and animals or people in nearby communities.

This is why it is so important to find ways to reduce mine waste and if you’re interested, read below to discover effective zero waste mine water treatment which will be beneficial for the environment.


Water and wastewater treatment processes

One great way mines could reduce mine wastage would be through installing water treatment plants. Treatment plants are effective at ensuring a reduced amount of mine waste. The treatment technologies have been designed to prevent mines from polluting and harming the environment and nearby neighbourhoods who are close to the air and water pollutants.

A water treatment plant has a number of processes which ensure environmental safety such as clarification, filtration, and reverse osmosis. Mine water recycling is important as it makes sure that there is no water being wasted or being polluted and water which has been contaminated is treated before it goes back into the environment.

Water management is extremely important especially with the water scarcity people face all over the world. Mines use a large quantity of water, therefore, it’s important that the mining industry ensures that they find reliable mine water and wastewater treatment processes. 

There are two effective ways to reduce mine waste through effective water treatment.

  • Firstly, there is an active water treatment which has software that foretells the chemistry of the effluent before mine construction. This is when the corrected water solution can be decided as you will have all the necessary information. Mine water can often be quite acidic and would need the PH balance to be regulated again.
  • The second water treatment is less popular in comparison to active water treatments.  Passive water treatment is a natural approach which uses natural, physical, chemical, and biological processes which removes toxins in contaminated water.

Mining water treatment equipment will ensure that that mine water effluent is treated before going back into the environment.


Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) project

Another way to reduce mine waste is through zero liquid discharge (ZLD) which is a project that aims to reduce the impact on the environment. The ZLD project will ensure that the amount of wastewater from mines is reduced by eliminating salt from the smaller brine streams resulting in fresh potable water which will flow into the environment. The treatment solution ensures that the amount of wastewater is significantly reduced allowing the water to go back into the environment. 


Manage mines that have been closed down

Mine water and wastewater treatment solutions are often thought about when referring to open mines but it is important to keep the closed ones in mind also. Unused mines need to be revegetated by doing this it ensures that there are no harmful chemicals which can find its way into the water and environment.

Those mine sites may then become reused by the public in other ways such as theme parks or public gardens. When doing this ensure that you have sought professional help and ensure that the water is tested before opening it up to the public to make sure that the mine is safe to use. Once the mine is clear, the environment should be revegetated as well to ensure everything is above board.

This could be done by planting water absorbing plants as these are ideal for soaking as it processes harmful chemicals. Revegetating the environment around mines is a great and effective way to reduce mine waste and protect the overall state of the environment.


Better manufacturing processes

Make sure your business has a better and improved process when it comes to mining as this is a great way of ensuring that you make less of an impact on the environment. Companies should look into their processes and make sure they are environmentally friendly.

A material flows analysis can be conducted which will look into the physical flow of the resources which is being used through extraction, production, recycling, and the final disposal. A material flow analysis will allow you to see the changes which need to be implemented.


Final thoughts

Mine waste is quite real and can be extremely harmful to people and the environment. However, there are effective ways in which they can be reduced to ensure the safety of the environment. It is important that mine waste is an issue that is dealt with accordingly as it is an issue that impacts up all. There are many treatment systems which are available in ensuring mine waste is reduced. The water treatment solutions will ensure that wastewater is treated before it goes back into the environment.

mine waste