Concluding Remarks

Society's need for metals is undisputed. For example, the demand for metal usage has risen due to a continuously growing population, an increase in standard of living in emerging economies, and on going consumption in industrialised countries. Technological innovations, such as newer digital technologies, also require an increase in the variety of metals as well. However, despite the importance of the mining industry in fulfilling the need for minerals and its contributions to economic and social development globally, concerns about aspects of its relationship to the degradation of the environment have been lingering. There is no doubt mining is also increasingly influenced by other competing land uses, such as urban development, agriculture and nature conservation. However, it is inevitable that a balanced consideration of economic, environmental and social aspects with a view of ensuring sustainable development of the mining industry is included in the frameworks underlying the development of coherent legislations and policies. What is clear from this chapter is that though different countries have different regulations and policies from one another, they all agree in many aspects about the importance of protecting the environment and water resources. It must also be noted that a better understanding of the activities leading to AMD generation could enable countries to develop legislation and policies that are likely to achieve the desired results of combating pollution of the environment and water resources at an early stage. Indeed, there are many examples and case studies globally that provide evidence that sound planning and management can significantly reduce environmental risks of AMD. For example, the EU and other industrialised and developed nations have also continued to fund various research projects on environmental technologies and policy strategies towards responsible mining.

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