ESE researcher Dr Pablo Brito-Parada among grant awardees to develop greener mining in the Philippines.
A partnership and project development project co-led by ESE’s Dr Pablo Brito-Parada has been selected as one of five projects to receive funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD).
The project, “SAGES: Systems approach for greener, eco-efficient and sustainable mineral resource management”, aims to develop greener mineral resource management in the Philippines and build a research programme to improve the sustainability of mining in the country. The project is co-led with Dr Arnel Beltran of De La Salle University (DLSU) in the Philippines and involves a multidisciplinary team from both Imperial College and DLSU, as well as from the Natural History Museum, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, and Central Mindanao University.
Dr Brito-Parada (pictured left) says: “The SAGES project aims to provide a unifying framework that will support the Philippine mining sector in its transition into an economically sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally sensitive industry. This requires a robust systems approach able to satisfy multiple conflicting criteria.”
The Philippines is rich in minerals such as gold, nickel and copper, which are commonly used in green technology, and are therefore seeing increased global demand.
"Mining is essential to provide the metals required for the green energy transition...this must be done in a sustainable manner"
Dr Brito-Parada added: "Mining is essential to provide the metals required for the green energy transition, from electric vehicles to wind turbines. This must be done in a sustainable manner, identifying opportunities to implement circular flows at the mine site level that enhance mineral extraction, reduce mineral losses to mining waste and mitigate the environmental impacts related to mine waste disposal.”
SAGES will develop a circular economy mining framework to address mine waste (including waste left over from extraction, polluted soils, and mine drainage systems). Transforming de-commissioned and legacy mine sites into the mines of the future and turning mine waste into secondary resources has a host of potential benefits for stakeholders, host communities, and the environment. This is the focus of the strategic large grant proposal for the second stage of funding, on which the SAGES team is currently working.
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