Analysis of Environmental Costs’ Effect in Green Mining Strategy Using a System Dynamics Approach: A Case Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMathematical problems in engineering. 2021, 2021 . https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/4893776
Nowadays, one of the most significant problems in mining activities is the significance of analyzing environmental issues along with mining, concentration, and mineral processing operations to achieve the goals of sustainable development. Nevertheless, mine owners refuse to include environmental costs (EC) and consider them unprofitable. Due to the ever-increasing importance of environmental and social topics in recent years, there is a vital need for assessing the EC and its impact on total mining costs and implementing green strategies by the mining managers and engineers. The current study tries to model the mining cost structure by considering the causal relationships between different factors affecting open-pit mining costs to highlight the EC’s role. Furthermore, this research evaluates the effectiveness of implementing each possible mining green strategy in a large-scale copper mine using the System Dynamics (SD) approach. In this regard, seven scenarios and a combination of different environmental strategies, including mine reclamation, an environmental strategy for a condensation and processing plant, and environmental mining operations, have been considered for the SD-based economic analysis. The simultaneous use of the green mining strategies for the concentration and processing plant (Scenario 4) shows a high impact on cost reduction in the mining operation.