Introduction

The title of this book is embedded in this chapter. On the other hand, the previous chapters narrated how worthless AMD is, and the need for it to be either prevented or treated in order to avert a serious global environmental challenge encountered during mining operations whether in operating mines or closed mines. As discussed in several chapters of this book, AMD is characterised by low pH and contains elevated concentrations of toxic metal ions (Fe, Zn, Cd, Al, Cu, Pb), dissolved anions (sulphates, nitrates, chlorides, arsenates, etc.), hardness, and suspended solids (Sheoran and Sheoran, 2006; Dhir, 2018) all of varying compositions depending on the original mineral deposit types (Sheoran and Sheoran, 2006). For decades, the need for sustainable AMD prevention and treatment approaches has led to research that has focused on resource recovery of useful products from AMD (Garcia et al., 2013; Simate and Ndlovu, 2014; Naidu et al., 2019). For example, Simate and Ndlovu (2014) explored the generation of a wide range of industrially useful materials from AMD. In fact, recent research on AMD treatment techniques has shown that most of the AMD constituents can be considered as valuable resources (Garcia et al., 2013; Kefeni et al., 2017). Furthermore, Rodriguez- Galan et al. (2019) argue that the possibility of recovery of valuable products from AMD waste is a potential option since not only environmental impact is reduced, but also economic advantages can be achieved. In view of the aforementioned discussion, overall, this chapter provides insights into previous, current, and future holistic approaches developed towards the recovery and utilisation of resources from AMD for the purpose of sustainable development. More specifically, the chapter deals with the 3Rs - Reuse, Recycle, Recovery - as the most important strategies for dealing with AMD. Reuse in the context of this chapter refers to the use or application of a significant component of the AMD such as water for a specific purpose after undergoing some treatment. Recycling is defined as the conversion of the entire waste such as AMD sludge into a new valuable product or application. Recovery on the other hand refers to the extraction of valuable resources or ingredients from the AMD with the aid of processing and/or reprocessing techniques.

 
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