Mining and its Effects on the Environment


مشرف وإستشاري هندسة المناجم
12 مارس 2007
مجموع الإعجابات

Part 1: Issue Description

The issue is the conflict between opposing parties over mining.
What is mining? Mining is the excavation of useful minerals that come from within the
earth, usually found in ore bodies, veins, or coal seams.
Mining can be carried out almost
anywhere, from 4,000 m above sea level to 4,000 below. Mining can happen in a lot of
different places, from tropic jungles to the Arctic.
Some examples of valuable minerals
that can be mined are coal, copper, silver, iron, gold, diamonds, etc. and everything that
cannot be grown or artificially made.
The valuable minerals go through quite a process
to be separated from the tailings.
Mining is very important in so many ways. It gives us
access to minerals and material that we need.
There are many different uses for many
different types of minerals.

The Steps of Mining:
There are many different steps involved in mining. The first step of mining is
prospecting an area to locate an ore.
This involves physically going out into the field and
searching for different types of minerals and fossils to give you an indication of where
you might find an ore body.
Next is the exploration of the area, which involves finding and determining the extent and value of the mineral-rich ore, through several different methods including hands-on field work, remote sensing, and drilling. There are four stages of mineral exploration:
1. Area Selection: the most important stage, it is important to choose an area that is
possible to find ore deposits easily, cheaply and quickly.
In this step, you have to
know how ores are formed and likely places they would be formed in.
Looking at
maps and knowing where ores have been found previously helps in finding the
location of more possible ores.

2. Target Generation: This stage involves investigation of the geology through
maps, geophysics, and testing the surface and subsurface minerals of the area.
Includes three distinct methods: geophysical methods, geochemical methods and
remote sensing.

3. Resource Evaluation : This stage lets you know the quality and quantity of the
mineral in the area. This is achieved mainly by drilling.
4. Reserve Definition: Converts an ore resource to a mineral reserve. Similar to
resource evaluation, except a lot more detailed and thorough.
5. Profit Planning: This step involves planning out a mine to evaluate the
economically recoverable portion of the deposit. You have to conduct a feasibility study to decide whether you should or shouldn’t build a mine there. In these
studies, you look at how much profit is going to be lost/gained in the long run,
and how economically and environmentally feasible it would be to build the mine.

6. Mine Construction: This step is physically making the mine. You have to make it
so there is access to an ore body.
There are many different types of mines,
including hard rock mines, in which you make tunnels and shafts going into rock
to retrieve an ore, open-pit mines, which are used when the desired minerals are
generally located near the top of the earth, underground coal mines, which are
mines that go underground to a coal seam, borehole mining, in which holes are
drilled into the ground in order to retrieve minerals, copper mines, gold mines,
deepsea mines, mountaintop removal mining, etc.
7. Mining: This step is the actual excavation of minerals from the ground. This is achieved in many different ways, depending on what type of mine it is and what you want to take out of the ground.
8. Ecological Rebuilding: The reclamation of the mine site to make the land suitable
for usage in the future.
This means returning the land as much as you can to its
former self, after all the mining is done.
The land becomes degraded after it is
mined, so it is important to restore it as much as possible.

Issue Problems
The problem of the issue is the impact of mining on the environment vs. the
necessity of the minerals mined.
Mining is very harsh on the environment. To justify just how bad some mining is,
think about the fact that producing a single gold ring generates 20 tons of mine waste.
And where does that waste go?
Into the water, air, land, animals, and even into us.
However, mining is a bare necessity.
It gives us access to necessary minerals and
material that we use constantly.
This creates many issues, with the mining companies
wanting to go forward with plans for mines, and some people strongly opposing it.
Mining gives jobs and makes money, as well as giving us all the materials we need, so it
is very good in that sense.
It is very bad on the environmental side, though. We will
describe later on just how bad mining is for the environment, and we will go into detail
about the necessity of mining.

Key players
Mining Supporters:Includes mine employees, mining companies, investors, mining
lobbyists, civilians in favour of mining, and politicians in favour of using the “current
methods of mining”.
Mining Companies: Mining companies support the current methods of mining for
obvious reasons. Mining is how they turn a profit. They believe that the benefits of

mining [think money] far outweigh the disadvantages. They are willing to destroy the
environment to extract the necessary minerals.
Beliefs and Values: Mining companies believe that what they do is worth it. They don’t
care about the environment; their sole value is profit.
They believe that environmentalists
are wrong, and that what they do is for the greater good.
They think that economy
outweighs the environment.
They know that the things they are mining (for the most
part) are necessities that are used in everyday life, so they think it is vital to keep mining
and extracting those materials, even if it means risking the health of the planet.

Mining Lobbyists: These people are hired by mining companies to lobby support for the
mining industry.
They persuade the public and members of government that mining is
beneficial and necessary, while downplaying the cons of mining.
This includes holding
meetings and lectures, and giving speeches talking about their beliefs and values.
go strictly against the thoughts and beliefs of environmentalists against mining.
They try
to pursue people into thinking mining is good, because of the necessity of all of the
material mined, as in jewelry and every day uses.

Beliefs and Values: Mining lobbyists believe that the current methods of mining are the
right, and only, ways to go.
They will fight for the mining companies, convincing anyone
who will listen that
the ir company is right, and that the current methods of mining are
safe, relatively eco-friendly, necessary, etc.
They have a lot of the same beliefs as people
in the mining companies.
They look at mining as being necessary because of how much
we use the minerals and materials extracted.

Civilians: These are ordinary people who are in favour of the current methods of mining.
In a way, we are all supporters of the current methods of mining.
Despite how we feel
about how mining is accomplished, we use its minerals all the time.
For example, every
time you turn on your television, you are utilizing 35 different minerals procured through
We sometimes don’t realize how much we use mined products. All the jewelry
we own is mined, as well as the copper in wires, and a vast number of other things we use
in our everyday lives.
Beliefs and Values: Civilians who believe in the current methods of mining think it’s necessary to extract minerals. Those types of people are the type that listen to mining lobbyists and who have the same beliefs and values as them.
Politicians: Mining is always a hot topic in politics. Platforms are built and broken on
the issue.
Politicians are forced to take a stance on the subject. They have to make
decisions on whether they think the mines that are going to be built will be economical as
well as environmentally-friendly.
Mining is a pretty big issue in politics, and it can be a
deciding factor in whether or not some people vote for them.

Beliefs and Values: Politicians have to make up their minds about what they think is
right as far as mining is concerned.
Politicians who are for the current methods of mining
have to explain to people their beliefs on why they think the current methods of mining
part 2 will folow

thanks yahya

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7 مايو 2009
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