Sustainability Considerations for the Metal Mining Industry


| 5/2/2017 9:51:00 AM


Tags: metals, extractive industries, sustainable business, Kayla Matthews,
 

 Metals are a core component of green technology, yet the gathering and refining of metals is far from being environmentally friendly due to air and water pollution, as well as damage to natural habitats. It’s an ongoing quandary for the metals industry and the world.

How Governments Push Back

Governments generally regulate mining to limit its impact on the environment. Certain countries, such as El Salvador and China, have begun to expand regulations in response to environmental factors. China increased its regulation of the metal industry to reduce air pollution, which has led to the country’s ongoing problem with smog. New regulations resulted in the closing of metal refineries, plants and mines.

El Salvador chose to ban all faucets of metal production last month in lieu of revised regulations. The unprecedented move resulted from the country’s limited supply of available clean water, which new mines could potentially pollute.

Decisions such as China’s and El Salvador’s emphasize the growing importance of the environment, renewable energy and environmentally-friendly practices to a government and its constituents.

How Metal Is Giving Back

Metal is essential for green technology. Companies focused on green technology rely on metals to make products like wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. 

Raw metals, such as copper, aluminum and especially lithium have grown in demand due to their use in environmentally-friendly products. All three of these metals are used by manufacturers of electric cars.




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