Challenges For Environmental Management In The Mining Sector
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Revenue from mineral resources has contributed to the improvement of the quality of life in several countries globally. The importance of mining in the SADC region is demonstrated by the amount of minerals produced; 40% of vanadium, 72% of the platinum group of metals, 40% of chromite, and 55% of diamonds of the global output. Mining contributes about 60% of the foreign currency receipts of the SADC region (www.sadc.int). Some of the major settlements providing much needed services have developed due to mining, e.g. Johannesburg, Francistown, Copperbelt towns of Zambia. Mining contributes significantly to government revenue in Southern Africa, e.g. 45% in -Botswana in 2004. The importance of the mining sector has been recognized at the SADC level through various initiatives aimed at the development of this sector, e.g. SADC Protocol on Mining, and attempts at harmonizing policies relevant to the development of the sector (UNECA, 2004). However, in the international arena, continued exploitation of mineral resources is increasingly depended upon the demonstrated capacity of the industry to effectively deal with the vast amount of waste generated from mining through to beneficiation.