4 November, 2022

Why sustainable mining has become the need of the hour?


Why sustainable mining has become the need of the hour?

Sustainable development is defined as the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. With time, people across the globe are becoming more aware and conscious of the need for environmental protection and sustainability. With the rise in global awareness about climate change, more brands are taking into consideration reducing global warming. The Paris agreement of 2015 played an important role in establishing a global goal for the adoption of measures to reduce climate change.

In India, minerals are abundant. Minerals are the essential building blocks for the growth of industry and commerce. But if environmental repercussions from mining are not controlled or minimized, the likelihood of negative effects on the environment is fairly significant.

To reduce the detrimental effects of mining, Indian mining companies are gradually adopting sustainable mining.

Sustainable mining can be defined as a process where vital resources are mined taking care of the social, economic, and environmental consequences. The top priorities of sustainable mining are workers’ security and safety, preserving social standing, abiding by the community and environmental laws. Sustainable mining imbibes the triple bottom line ethical management comprising social issues, environmental effects, and economic progress.

Major mining corporations in India are employing cutting-edge, all-encompassing environmental protection strategies, educating staff members about sustainability issues, and working to gradually enhance their environmental performance. Tata Steel Mining Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Steel, is the leading mining brand that has successfully implemented sustainable mining practices in its operations.

Achieving mining sustainability requires two primary factors, i.e., good governance and self-regulation that makes a mining company commercially viable, financially successful, and technically effective. All phases of the mine life cycle, including exploration, mine planning, construction, mineral extraction, mine closure, and post-closure reclamation and rehabilitation, can benefit from applying sustainability concepts.

Ways to advance sustainable mining

  1. Adopting lower-impact mining techniques.

The environment can be severely impacted by conventional mining processes. Mining businesses can lessen their influence on the environment by switching to innovative, low-impact mining methods, such as in-situ leaching. Companies may dramatically lessen surface disturbance at mining sites, cut soil erosion, and transport less material that would need to be backfilled by utilizing many of these processes.

  1. Reusing mining waste.

Waste from mining, such as tailings, rocks, and wastewater, is naturally produced in large quantities. When mining activities end, enterprises frequently leave waste behind, or in the case of tailings, the waste is held in massive structures like tailings dams, which are prone to breakdown and, as a result, seriously harm the environment.


However, there are more than one technique that can be used for repurposing mining waste either on-site or off-site. Waste rocks can be used by businesses for straightforward on-site construction tasks including backfilling holes and rebuilding mined terrain to stop soil erosion. Mine water can be properly processed so that it can be used in almost any situation, including irrigation, cooling, on-site dust suppression, and drinking water.


  1. Using eco-friendly equipment.

Mining businesses can transition to more environmentally friendly machinery if they want to lessen their influence on the environment. Mining equipment powered by batteries can frequently take the place of diesel-powered machinery. The amount of CO2 produced by mining activities can be greatly reduced by switching, if practicable, from diesel to electric engines. Mining businesses could easily save a lot of carbon if they moved toward using only electric mining equipment.

Tata Steel Mining Limited (TSML) has bagged the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for Sustainability 2021 because of its commitment to sustainable mining using smart technology. Our mine to mills integrated Ferro chrome plants ensure high-quality products along with sustainability.