This website has been developed in conjunction with the book “Mining and the
Environment – From Ore to Metal” by Karlheinz Spitz and John Trudinger,
published in 2008 by CRC Press of the Taylor & Francis Group. Notwithstanding
its essential contribution to human civilization over the ages, the industry is
subject to intense and widespread criticism and opposition, ostensibly for the
perceived environmental damage caused by mining and associated activities.
This despite the fact that environmental damage due to mining and mineral
processing is minor in comparison to that from other human activities such as
agriculture and urban development.
In response to this poor public image and in tandem with the emerging
environmental movement of the past 40 years, the mining industry has overhauled
its environmental performance. Major advances have been made in control of
pollution from mine wastes and in the rehabilitation of areas disturbed by
More recently, the industry has been developing
principles and procedures to ensure that the mining operations benefit the host
communities. This has been accentuated by the fact that more and more minerals
are being extracted from remote, undeveloped areas, sometimes inhabited by
Indigenous Peoples. As a result of these initiatives, the situation now is that
most mining projects can be developed for the benefit of all stakeholders, with
environmental impacts that are clearly and demonstrably acceptable.
Mining and the Environment is designed as a portal for providing unbiased and
accurate information about mining, its effects on the environment and the
attendant social costs and benefits.
The intended audience includes
environmental and mining professionals, students and concerned members of the
public. It is intended that the site will be a forum for news and constructive
views provided by practitioners, researchers and regulators.
invited to submit written articles and photographs for inclusion in this
website, or links to other sites where useful articles may be found. Prior to
publication, the website custodians will do their best to verify any information
provided, especially if it is potentially contentious.
This website will also
provide a wide range of Knowledge Resources and Tools for use by students and
practitioners. The creation of benefits for host communities and the equitable
sharing of these benefits remains a challenge for the industry and will always
be so, particularly in the developing world which provides the greatest
challenges and also the greatest opportunities for beneficial outcomes. Mining
and the Environment aims to support these efforts. While specifically directed
at mining, much of the content of the website (and the associated book) will
also apply to the oil and gas industry which shares most of the issues.