"Throughout most of human history, environmental stewardship during mining has not been a priority partly because of the lack of applicable laws and regulations and partly because of ignorance about the effects that mining can have on the environment. In the United States, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, in conjunction with related laws, codified a more modern approach to mining, including the responsibility for environmental stewardship, and provided a framework for incorporating environmental protection into mine planning. Today, similar frameworks are in place in the other developed countries of the world, and international mining companies generally follow similar procedures wherever they work in the world. The regulatory guidance has fostered an international effort among all stakeholders to identify best practices for environmental stewardship. The modern approach to mining using best practices involves the following: (a) establishment of a pre-mining baseline from which to monitor environmental effects during mining and help establish geologically reasonable closure goals; (b) identification of environmental risks related to mining through standardized approaches; and (c) formulation of an environmental closure plan before the start of mining. A key aspect of identifying the environmental risks and mitigating those risks is understanding how the risks vary from one deposit type to another--a concept that forms the basis for geoenvironmental mineral-deposit models."
Geological Survey (U.S.); United States. Department of the Interior
Schulz, K. J.; DeYoung, John H.; Seal, Robert R. . . .