The global mining waste management market size was worth US$ XX million in 2022 and is estimated to reach US$ XX million by 2029, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Waste management procedures employed by mining companies are routinely under serious scrutiny from the general public and local governments. Inappropriate disposal methods and the resulting environmental damages have disturbed the growth of the mining industry. For this reason, many countries now demand miners to prepare a complete mine waste storage proposal before a mining permit is granted. Mine waste is carefully controlled at every phase of the process to assure long-term storage stability and prevent violation of regulations.
The quantity of waste from mining operations is high and due to the large volumes of waste, environmental concerns will surely arise. In response, mining companies have developed inventive ways of waste management. Overburden is employed for reprocessing, contouring land, and constructing roads and buildings. Mine tailings are reused for producing clay, glass, tiles and concrete. Mine water is treated and then utilized for dust suppression, agricultural/industrial use and coolant.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
The growing involvement of governments drives the global mining waste management market growth.
Growing involvement of governments
Mining operations generate large volumes of mine waste every year, including tailings. According to the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project, nearly 3,500 active mining waste facilities globally consist of waste tailings impoundments and rock dumps. The estimated global waste generation from metal and minerals commodities is over 100 million tons per year and grows exponentially because of lower ore grades.
Hence, the countries are concerned about the growing environmental damage due to the mining industry, resulting in strict regulations and programs for waste management. For instance, China's central Henan province has pledged to cut the tailings dams in the province by 10% by the end of 2022, aiming to reduce the risk of disasters and cut mine pollution.
China has been working to enhance its management of tailings dams, the most prevalent waste disposal method for mining firms - following a dam collapse in Brazil and a spill in northeast Heilongjiang province. China has nearly 8,000 tailings dams, while Henan is one of 10 provinces that account for over 75% of tailings dams. The provincial emergency management department reported that 99 dams required special attention as homes or major facilities within a one-kilometer radius.
Lack of awareness regarding efficient waste management practices
According to the U.S ESPA, the sector's quantity of TRI chemical waste decreased by 227 million pounds (-13%) in 2018-2019. During 2019, 95% of the metal mining production-related waste generated was disposed of or released. Most of this waste, including metals, was disposed of to land on-site at the mine.
Most mine waste-related environmental degradation is linked with the inappropriate management methods of leaching and acid mine drainage. Leachates originating from mine waste overburden dumps may pollute the surrounding water resources. Despite various recycling methods, most mine waste is still contained in facilities.
The long-term storage of the mining facilities has become a vital issue in modern mine closures. Various regulations have been introduced that demand the waste to be long-lasting for years, sometimes centuries. It requires engineers to develop storage methods to withstand catastrophic events like floods, heavy storms and earthquakes.
The mining waste management market has been unstable during the COVID-19 outbreak. Mining companies globally have been operating at lower production rates, which has significantly affected the revenue of the mining waste management system. The mining industry in various countries has already reported huge losses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For instance, Mexico's mining chamber has estimated that mining output in the country is expected to fall by around 17% in 2020; Coal India proclaimed an 11.2% decline in production in May 2020 compared with May 2021 and Minerals Council South Africa have estimated that mining output in the country is expected to fall by 8- 10% this year.
On the other hand, the pandemic has reduced pollution levels, encouraging mining companies and governments to take necessary steps towards efficient waste management techniques. Hence, the mining waste management market is expected to witness lucrative opportunities in the forecast period.
The mining waste management market is segmented into solid waste and liquid waste by waste.
Rising concerns on acid mine drainage are expected to boost the liquid mine waste management operations
Mine water is produced in different ways at mine sites and can alter contamination levels. Water exposed to mining processes is often acidic and can contaminate local water sources in an acid mine drainage (AMD). Acid mine drainage is a substantial contributor to surface water pollution globally.
AMD is fundamentally caused when water flows over the sulfide-heavy material, creating an acidic solution. Water at mine sites is heavily monitored and management strategies are used to decrease the volume of mine water produced and treat the water before it is released back into the environment.
Sludge is also produced at mine sites and is similar to mine wastewater but has solids and processing chemicals. The additions turn the water into a more viscous sludge that can be pumped away from the site. Since most sludge has little economic value, it's handled as waste. In severe cases where the sludge contains radioactive material, it may be categorized as hazardous waste and need special handling and disposal methods.
Large volumes of water are utilized in some processes, i.e., milling. Water is a precious resource in the mining process and is frequently recycled and reused. Eventually, the water is released into the environment. Sometimes, the water must be treated in multiple ways before it can be released. Water treatment can be classified as active or passive treatment.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
Strict regulations on the handling of mining waste are boosting sales in Europe
Mining activity has been a source of numerous environmental problems. Immense quantities of extractive waste, often abandoned, are sources of pollution and hydrogeological and geotechnical instability areas. After numerous accidents concerning mining activities, the European Commission adopted the Directive 2006/21/EC on handling waste from extractive industries (known as Mining Directive) that amended Directive 2004/35/EC.
Europe has between 150,000 and 500,000 landfill sites, with an estimated 90% being non-sanitary landfills, predating the EU Landfill Directive of 1999. The older landfills are filled with municipal solid waste and usually lack any environmental protection technology. Most landfills will need expensive remediation measures to evade future environmental and health problems.
However, the widespread adoption of Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) in the EU, as envisaged by NEW-MINE, urgently requires skilled scientists, economists, engineers and policymakers to develop environmentally friendly and cost-effective ELFM practices and regulatory frameworks.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
The mining waste management market is consolidated with the global companies. The mining waste management techniques require significant investments and expertise in the industry, making it difficult for the new entrants to survive. In addition, players contributing to the market's growth are Séché Environnement Group, Eddy Pump Corporation, Tetra Tech, Inc, Enviro-Serve Inc, Veolia Environnement S.A., Mine Waste Management, Golder Associates, Ramboll Group A/S, Hatch Ltd., Gold Fields Limited and others. The players are adopting new strategies to dominate the market, such as launching new technologies, expansions and acquisitions, contributing to the global growth of the mining waste management market.
Séché Environnement Group
Overview: Séché Environnement is the leading player in treating and recovering all types of waste from local and industry communities. Séché Environnement is the leading operator in France for highly complex waste, operating within the regulated waste treatment and recovery markets with high barriers to entry. Its facilities enable high value-added solutions to its public authority and industrial clients, targeting the circular economy and sustainable development requirements.
Product Portfolio: Séché Environnement provides its skills in treating hazardous waste such as mercury, PCBs and pesticides, particularly for the mining and petrochemical industry, in keeping with the appropriate regulatory requirements.
Key Development: In 2019, Séché Environnement Group acquired 100% of issued shares of Interwaste Holdings Limited. Through the acquisition, Séché Environnement is accessing the South African markets to respond to waste management needs and promote the development of this region's waste market toward the circular economy.
The global mining waste management market report would provide an approximate 77 market data table, 72 figures and 180 pages
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