Environmentally Sensitive "Green" Mining
New mining technologies and regulations have significantly improved mining efficiency and reduced environmental impact in recent years. In general, mining techniques become much more environmentally sensitive when efficiency is improved because less waste is produced. However, even greater improvements must be made as part of Mission 2016's plan. The current "green" mining techniques need to become more widespread and there will be a focus on researching new environmentally friendly techniques.
The plan for improving efficiency and decreasing the environmental impact of mining is broken up into the following categories:
- Shutting down illegal and unregulated mines
- Choosing environmentally friendly general mining processes
- Implementing recently discovered green mining technologies
- Cleaning up the sites of shut-down mines
- Reevaluating Cut-off Grades
- Research and Development of Green Mining Technology
The plan below is described with respect to REEs in order to illustrate a specific example. However, many of the same problems are inherent in mining of other strategic elements, and thus Mission 2016's solutions can be applied and implemented for these mines as well.