Water, Air, Land Sustainability Issues in Mining and Metal Extraction


Toward a circular economy in mining, mineral processing, waste and water management

The WALSIM symposium will be the ninth symposium on Water, Air, Land Sustainability issues In Mining and metal extraction. This year the theme of the symposium will be focused on the technical advances being made by a wide variety of industries to promote the concept of the circular economy and NbS (Nature-based Solutions). In this regard four major topics of relevance to the mining, minerals and metals industries are proposed as follows: minimization of waste, carbon footprint reduction, water usage and alternative resources. Each of these topics is described in more detail below.

Minimization of Waste: Mining and mineral extraction can be integrated and lead to a circular economy that promotes the minimization of waste through the recycling and re-use of waste materials. Waste streams can in fact be considered as secondary sources of valuable minerals and metals.

Carbon Footprint Reduction: There have been a number of reviews and updated estimates on carbon dioxide emissions from various processes. However, reliable values are very scarce, particularly for mining. minerals and metals industries. It is time this changed!

Water Consumption and Conservation: Entering the title of this topic into Google results in more than 300 million hits, indicating that it is a topic of relevance not only to the mining sector but also for the environment. These drought conditions worldwide have started to affect mining and metal extraction processes.

Alternative Resources: Landfills and other resources are being considered for metal extraction. Also, landfills release leachates from which metals could be recovered. Mining, mineral and metal extraction processes may well be suited for metal recovery from these urban and other resources.

Papers on the above topics are being solicited. However, papers on other sustainability topics, which do not fully align with the symposium theme will also be considered. If enough papers are submitted on a particular topic then a separate session can be added.

Intended Audience

Industry, academia, government, researchers, environmentalists

Symposium Organizers

Chair: Chris Pickles, Queen’s University
Margarete Kalin, Boojum Research Limited
Brittany MacKinnon, Hatch
Gillian Holcroft, CMIC
Carl Weatherel, CMIC
Ahmad Ghahreman, Queen’s University