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This chapter describes case studies of community engagement and eco-efficiency across the Australian mining and minerals industry. Eco-efficiency includes new processes, systems, and initiatives for improving air quality, energy, and materials efficiency, waste minimisation, improved waste water management,
and increased water use efficiencies across several sectors of the mining and minerals processing industry. Specific findings were as follows: (1) environmental and social improvements at operations and within communities in which they operate can realise economic benefits and will not always incur a major financial cost; (2) local communities provide the means by which a mining or minerals processing operation can realise its full potential in contributing to a region’s economic and social well-being; (3) improvements to waste management practises and waste prevention can lead to cost reductions or even increased revenues; (4) water efficiency improvements will be needed by any mining company planning to remain viable in the future, particularly in Australia; (5) at the operations level, there needs to be clear commitment from senior management to make the case for change to a
more sustainable mining or minerals processing operation; and (6) mining companies need to work closely with businesses and suppliers to identify new processes
that enhance the sustainability of their businesses.