Mineral processing can become more environmentally sustainable by integrating practices that reduce all environmental impact of mining operations. Along with pollution problems, global climate change is presently one of the most important environment concerns. This research aimed to identify all potential sources and also compare the net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the limestone and basalt rock mining operations in Thailand. Limestone (Plant I) and basalt (Plant II) rock mining located in the central and the northeast of Thailand were selected as research case studies. The results indicated that the total amount of GHGs emitted from limestone mining operation were approximately 1,457.61 and 1,753.73 tCO2-eq in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Estimated GHGs intensity ranged between 18.83 to 22.36 kgCO2-eq/tonne of rock product. Similarly, over 2014 to 2015, the range of total GHGs emissions from basalt rock mining was about 1,467.27 to 1,670.18 tCO2-eq. Interestingly, estimated GHGs intensity of basalt mining was roughly two times greater than limestone rock mining (31.85 to 35.72 kgCO2-eq/tonne of product). By scope, direct emission from transport-related activities in both limestone and basalt rock mining was by far the largest source of emissions (45-62%) compared to indirect emission from purchased grid-electricity (34-40%). Some GHGs mitigation options and also challenges ahead for archiving environmental sustainability in the mining industry in Thailand were further raised.


  • Climate change is considered to be one of the most profound global problems of our time

  • green house gases (GHGs) emissions were assessed in accordance with the GHG Protocol: A corporate accounting standard issued by the World Resource Intuition (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) (WRI, 2011)

  • Considering all potential sources of emissions, the total amount of GHGs emitted from limestone mining operations (Plant I) were approximately 1,457.61 tCO2-eq and 1,753.73 tCO2-eq in 2014 and 2015, respectively

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Climate change is considered to be one of the most profound global problems of our time. Many lines of scientific evidence show that the earth’s climate is continually changing. Global average temperature increased of around 0.76°C over 1905 to 2010, global sea level rose at an average rate of 0.17 cm per year over 1900 to 2010, and the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet significantly decreased by 40% over 1960 to 2010 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: IPCC, 2013). Many scholars agree that a changing climate is largely caused by the accumulation of green house gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere as a result of human activities (i.e. fossil fuel burning). The global concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased from a pre-industrial value of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 395 ppm in 2012. Energy sector has the highest GHGs emissions (31%) compared to transport (27%) and industrial sector (21%) (United State Environmental Protection Agency: US EPA, 2014)


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