Sustainability and the Canadian mining industry at home and abroad

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1033, 1999

M.L. McAllister, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario M. Scoble and M. Veiga, Department of Mining and Mineral Process Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

The mineral industry has seen many significant changes in the past decade. Increasingly, it has responded to unanticipated pressures and demands with a variety of voluntary initiatives. Yet there is still much to do. Mining now takes place in a different context than was the case in the past. Socio-economic, political and environmental considerations must now be integrated into traditional mining systems. This process of integration needs to involve industry, governments, academics, communities and other stakeholders to design a new approach to mining, one that can be fostered through interdisciplinary links and holistic strategies. This paper considers the meaning of sustainability in the context of the Canadian mining industry and explores the need for a broader vision for the mining industry. The role of technology is then analyzed and related to an initiative recently taken by Canadian universities to develop a national network for interdisciplinary research into sustainable mining, CaSM.
Keywords: Canadian Network for Sustainable Mining, Sustainable development, Ecosystems, Mining technology, Whitehorse Mining Initiative.