Sustainable development - From by-product synergy to capital stock turnover
Sustainable development in the mining and metallurgical industrial sectors can be implemented by two distinct groups: the managers and operators of existing facilities, working with industrial processes and systems that have been operating for many years, in some cases, several decades; and those who are engineering and building new facilities or upgrades of existing plants. The focus of this paper is to look at approaches and tools available to bring sustainable development thinking and action to these two distinct areas. The paper will discuss the concept of working with existing facilities and processes to minimize waste and maximize product from a regional raw material/resource consumption perspective using by-product synergy. The BPS concept has been carried out in Texas (e.g., TXI-Chaparral’s STAR), in Calgary, Alberta, with Suncor assistance, in Montreal, Quebec, with Noranda as project leader, and currently in Ontario with Dofasco as industry champion. Successful outcomes are presented. The paper will also discuss a new approach to designing greenfield facilities or upgrades to existing plants using a sustainable development review process. Undertaking the review early in every project can institutionalize the concept of discussing and implementing waste elimination, design for environment, eco-efficiency, risk minimization and community awareness and involvement in the future capital stock. The review process has been developed as an excellent tool for measuring and reporting on a corporation’s sustainable development progress. Examples of how this approach has been adopted in the mining and metallurgical industry, and the resultant outcomes are given.