From diamonds to coal – the minerals and metals extracted by man’s ingenuity and sheer physical and mental power are responsible for our entire existence!
Naturally, mining activities, by their very nature, have severely impacted the environment and the communities in which they have been placed. And for several years, Mining companies have been collaborating with environmentalists, community leaders and policy makers to devise solutions to lessen the effect of their activities.
As a result of these ongoing discussions and research, several Responsible Mining initiatives have been devised and implemented across the world.
Some of the most successful of these Green Mining initiatives are –
Progressive reclamation& rehabilitation of the native eco system – Reclamation process works in tandem with the Mining process. Tapping into a team of geologists, naturalists, biologists, and engineers a careful reclamation plan is ready even before the mining process starts. As soon as the mining is wrapped up – the lengthy reclamation process starts. Starting with backfilling the area the process involves afforestation and rehabilitation of the natural ecosystem and continues for several years to make sure that the land is returned to its original state.
Community Building – Most companies actively support the local communities affected or displaced by the mining activity. These community building initiatives range from developing health and educational institutions in the area to providing sustainable livelihood training to ensure a steady income to most households.
Using technology to reduce air pollution – newly developed machines such as the Surface Miner are being used to drastically cut down on air pollution. The Surface Miner uses an integrated water sprinkling mechanism to reduce dust particles and eliminates blasting and explosives altogether.
Eco Transplantation – Trees earmarked to be cut down in the mining area are now being transplanted in other locations. Some companies like Adani have already transplanted thousands of trees and has achieved a survival rate of well over 80%!
Geo Blanketing – mounds of dug up earth is now being turned into Green hillocks by erosion control blankets. Made from bio degradable coconut husks these blankets allows vegetation to grow in less than 6 months!
Mining conglomerates in India are approaching the issue of responsible mining in a holistic 360-degree manner that encompasses the entire lifecycle of a mine – Ranging from pre mining to post mining. Their aim is to develop a new way of mining that is sustainable and healthy – for Mother Nature and for local communities.
We look at the Green Mining initiatives of Adani, one such company that is successfully implementing these practices on the ground.