British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Mine reclamation and sustainable development Lavkulich, L. M.


Sustainable development has become a common phrase in today's language, much like the term ecology was in the 1960s. The concept of sustainable development appears to be simple, yet its definition as applied to real issues is elusive. The questions raised include: is mining sustainable? what is sustainable development with respect to mine reclamation? sustainable on regional or global dimensions? sustainable over what period of time? The concept of sustainable development as applied to mining must develop a meaningful working definition that incorporates non-renewable resource management within the economic realities of society and the desires of preservation and conservation. Much attention has been given to planning for exploration, pre-mining extraction and active mine operations, without concern of sustainable development or sustainability. Even less attention has been devoted to the concept of sustainability following the active phase of a mining operation. The additional question to be addressed is what does sustainability or sustainable development mean in the context of mine reclamation?

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