In recent years, more attention has been drawn toward the environmental impacts of the mining industry, specifically in regard to water usage and discharge. Many mining operations are very water intensive and can lead to problems such as acid mine drainage, metal contamination, and increased sediment levels in waterways.
Despite the existing issues, however, potential solutions for moving towards a zero water discharge mine have been identified. These include utilization of low-quality water such as groundwater or seawater and establishing methods that allow for supplied water to be recycled and used multiple times. Furthermore, advancements in mine waste treatment may reduce the need to discharge highly polluted liquids into nearby rivers and streams.
Read more at Environmental Leader.
Image Credit: Flickr