The importance of mining is, without a doubt, indisputable. It could have been the second of the first great efforts of humanity: taking into account that agriculture was the first. These two industries are classified as the primary or basic industries of early civilization, supplying all the basic elements and resources used from prehistoric times to modern civilization.
Mining, inevitably, being an activity that occupies a territory and modifies its geography, directly or indirectly affects the individuals who inhabit it. To protect the integrity of the habitat and meet the needs of the present without compromising the capacity of future generations, it is crucial that mining activities are always carried out with sustainable development as the main objective, ensuring a balance between economic growth, caring for the environment and social welfare.
The five stages of the mining life cycle, being the sum of all of them a sustainable development, are: prospecting, exploration, development, exploitation and recovery. We must consider this last stage to be one of the most important, being its objective the closure of a mine, remodelling, revegetating and restoring the quality of the water and its land values.
To successfully carry out the recovery stage, good prior planning aligned with long-term economic and social objectives is very important. Some examples of planning aligned with social objectives would be the placement of waste dumps, tailings ponds, and other disturbed areas that will help prevent pollution problems. The old mines have been converted into wildlife refuges, golf courses, lakes, underground storage facilities, and other areas for many other uses that can be beneficial to society.
Since mining is such an important practice, as well as its sustainable development and the conservation of mineral resources, it is a duty for society and companies to be more aware of the need to conserve energy, minerals and the environment.