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    Aim Land Green Mining Banner

    Digging into Green Mining

    Aim Land Green Mining Banner

    Digging into Green Mining - Working the “Brine Mine”

    When we think of mining we naturally think of digging deep underground or giant open excavation pits.  It is dark and dirty work, and well not very environmentally friendly, or is it? 

    As the world moves to become more environmentally friendly and reliant on renewable energy, it cannot be discounted that in order to do this we need large amounts of critical minerals – Copper, Cobalt, Nickel, and Zinc – to accomplish this.  In particular, copper which is required for so many things.  The mining industry recognizes that, and is actively taking the necessary steps to make it more “green” to meet the needs of today and the future.

    AiM Land Green Mining 3

    What is Green Mining

    Well, green mining as the name suggests, is the implementation of newer technologies and mining processes that are geared towards reducing the environmental impacts that can occur following the extraction and processing of metals and minerals within a mine.

    Obstacles Facing Traditional Mining

    Like fossil fuels, mining requires a lot of energy to extract the low-grade ores that contain the minerals, like copper, that we need.  They are low-grade due to the fact that they produce only about 1% of usable copper, and the rest is just waste.

    Not only is there a huge amount of waste produced, but copper mines create large scars on the landscape.  It also uses large amounts of energy and in some cases water to produce small amounts of the critical metal.  It has a great financial cost in construction and decommissioning, and sadly can produce enormous tailings piles of waste rock. 

    The environmental risk associated with traditional mining processes include the release of harmful substances and byproducts into the soil, air and water, all of which depend upon the specific type of mining being conducted.

    How does the mining industry overcome these obstacles?  It is done through various green mining initiatives.

    “... most of the copper on Earth comes from hot, hydrous magmatic fluids – lava.”

    Green Mining Benefits

    Green mining is not just about the extraction of minerals itself but is more of an ecosystem.  It encompasses all aspects that are impacted by mining. 

    The mining industry has the imperative of moving towards sustainable, environmentally friendly production without affecting their communities, but rather, incorporating them in its development and favouring the area where it is developed.

    The practice of green mining evaluates the environmental impact produced along with the impact on communities, the safety measures under which the workers were protected and the energy efficiency after the process, among other dimensions.

    Communities

    You cannot have mining or production with people and as such there is a community that grows and develops.  By implementing Green Mining the hope is to evaluate the impact that each of the processes has on the soil in order to improve the quality of life of these people, giving priority to the health of the inhabitants or decent access to education.

    Minimal Emissions

    With all energy intensive processes, the reduction of the carbon footprint is key.  This way the surrounding sectors of the productive industry are also cared for, protecting the entire population.

    In green mining, the aim is to reduce emissions in its exploitation processes in order to care for the environment.

    Investment in Technology and Innovation

    Industry 4.0 plays a part in the new energy movement, and mining is no different.  As mining is a dangerous occupation, there is a focus on worker safety, process optimization and efficiencies, and a greater care for the environment.  To accomplish this, green mining requires more investment because the technology used to practice it is more expensive and requires more infrastructure.

    Better Energy Use

    Having clarity on the amount of energy consumed and that it is obtained through renewable processes is also a point to work on in Green Mining.

    In this way, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced along the chain and new sources of energy can be considered, where the global community can benefit.

    AiM Land Green Mining 2

    The Future of Mining

    One way the industry can overcome scarcity and environmental impact is to look for alternate sources for the metals.  According to an Oxford study, their research found that most of the copper on Earth comes from hot, hydrous magmatic fluids – lava.  Magma underneath volcanoes emits metal-rich gases which separate into steam and brine when the pressure drops.

    How Does This Work

    The copper ore is formed through phase separation of magmatic fluids that forms a brine that is high in copper, in particular copper sulfides. The metals in the original magma gas get highly concentrated in this dense brine, and in turn, it gets trapped in porous rock.

    As well as removing the need for conventional mines – considering their inefficient, energy-intensive requirements – the researchers also suggest that extracting this metal-rich brine from deep below the planet’s surface could also provide geothermal energy capture opportunities as a by-product.

    The researchers presented their new approach to metal mining as a “green mining” alternative. That is because of the huge energy requirements of conventional metal mining, which this method would avoid due to finding more metal-rich material.

    Exploiting geothermal energy to drive operations in the kind of deep sub-volcanic mine proposed by this research would also contribute to a more sustainable mining operation.

    The researchers believe that with geothermal energy, minehead operations in a system like this would be carbon neutral.

    This radical new approach helps find metals such as copper, gold, zinc, silver, and lithium in a more sustainable manner.

    Researchers say that a working “brine mine” could be underway in as little as five years’ time, depending on how well certain safety and risk elements can be mitigated.

    AiM Land Green Mining 1
    Green Mining

    All these efforts undoubtedly have one goal: to move towards an industry that is more conscious, cleaner and committed to the environment and society.

    Each time new technologies and innovations are required to support this way of mining, new companies are becoming part of this model, giving the possibility for everyone to participate and build together the mining of the future.

    Each development, each new tool that is incorporated together with the evaluation of each new step is a value that is added to mining in the face of the world.

    Innovation leads to success in Canada’s mining industry – backed by a strong research and development system, incredible expertise in the workforce, and access to abundant natural resource reserves.

    Every day companies are looking to go farther and dig deeper to reach previously untapped resources. Innovative solutions can enhance efficiency, lower costs, and maximize the extraction process. With a focus on the future, mining companies can also adopt clean technologies to improve their processes and reduce the environmental impact of mining-related activities.

    #AimForMineralLand

    The AiM Mineral Land Department is comprised of a highly educated mineral team and it is well versed on the appropriate lease structures and compensation. We understand what it takes to provide our clients with accurate agreements. We work closely with the asset team to manage expiries, handle operations notices and contract obligations.

    The AiM Mineral Land department provides land services for the successful acquisition and management of Crown Land Sales and Freehold Mineral Leasing throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  To learn more reach out to Gabrielle Leakey, Operations Manager, Mineral Lands | Email: gleakey@aimland.ca | Direct: 403-648-5421  OR Guy Anderson, Business Development Mineral Lands | Email: ganderson@aimland.ca | Direct: 587-392-5115

    #Mining #Minerals #GreenMining #CanadaMining #CanadianEconomy #GlobalKnowledge

    AIM-Land Circle R2
    Gabrielle-Leakey-PM-Operations-AiM-75
    GABRIELLE LEAKEY 
    Operations Manager – Mineral Land Team
    E: gleakey@aimland.ca
    D: 403-648-5421

     

    Guy-Anderson-Business-Development-AiM-75
    GUY ANDERSON  
    Business Development – Mineral Land Team
    E: ganderson@aimland.ca
    D: 587-392-5115

     

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