Using existing minerals processing technology in ways that use less water and energy could also be effective in securing a mining operation's social license to operate.
"Insitu recovery can be a way forward for certain types of operations or certain types of opportunities," Adair told Future of Mining Sydney 2018.
"The message is there is an awful lot more you could do with existing circuits and existing extraction systems.
"It's got to be a mixture of both."
Adair said risk to the sustainability of mining operations could be in many different forms.
"Ten years ago no one would have thought that water was a major risk but today water is one of the greatest impediments to the development of mining, particularly in arid areas or semi-arid a...