How Mining’s Environmental Footprint has Transformed
Natural Resources Learn how Goldcorp is helping to usher in a new era of sustainable mining practices and changing how the industry is being perceived.
Water is the world’s most precious resource. Since water is used in every part of the mining life cycle, mining companies are important stewards of its use.
It’s a role Goldcorp takes very seriously. The Canadian gold miner’s Towards Zero Water strategy is saving water by using less, recycling more, and working on technologies to eliminate conventional slurry tailings.
For example, Goldcorp has been a leader in the industry using filtered or “dry-stack” tailings, originally at its El Sauzal site, and later at its Marlin and Éléonore sites, and is co-developing innovative technology for use in high-volume applications at larger-scale mines. Filtered tailings drastically reduce fresh-water consumption and eliminate the use of traditional slurry tailings, currently the largest store of unavailable water in the mining process.
“This could be transformational for our industry and our environmental footprint,” says Lisa Wade, Goldcorp’s Vice President of Environment.
Goldcorp is also in the testing phase of EcoTails, which blends filtered tailings with waste rock, and could allow some sites to recycle over 90 percent of the water they use.
“Innovation is important in our drive to become a more efficient, profitable, and sustainable company,” says Brent Bergeron, Goldcorp’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. “Investing in new technologies is essential to achieving our sustainability objectives and changing the way the world perceives our industry.”