In recent years, wastewater treatment has emerged as a pressing concern for mining companies worldwide. However, a prevailing trend has seen many of these companies adopting an avoidance strategy due to the limited availability of suitable reagents. Among these reagents, lime and its compounds have taken center stage, serving as primary neutralization agents for addressing Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) and acidic water in mining operations.

While lime and sodium hydroxide have proven effective in generating high-pH solutions for acid neutralization, their hazardous nature poses significant challenges. This reliance on potent alkaline substances has resulted in unintended consequences, including a culture of denial, evasion, and avoidance within the mining sector when confronted with the imperative of ARD wastewater treatment.

Consequently, the prevalence of these avoidance tactics has contributed to the establishment of vast water storages, leaving them susceptible to flooding and breach. This, in turn, has led to diminished Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores for water stewardship within the industry.

In the following brief paper, we delve deeper into the ramifications of this avoidance strategy and explore potential solutions to address the challenges facing wastewater treatment in the mining sector. Through innovative approaches and a commitment to sustainability, we aim to chart a path towards more responsible water management practices within the mining industry.