Mining activities require the clearing of large areas of land. The chemicals used in the mining process often escape into the environment causing large-scale pollution. Let us consider the question 'how does mining affect the environment' in this article.
Mining refers to the process of extracting metals and minerals from the earth. Gold, silver, diamond, iron, coal and uranium are just a few of the vast array of metals and minerals that are obtained by this process. In fact, mining is the source of all the substances that cannot be obtained by industrial processes or through agriculture. Mining reaps huge profits for the companies that own them and provides employment to a large number of people. It is also a huge source of revenue for the government. Despite its economic importance, the question that how does mining affect the environment is a pressing environmental issue.
Effects of Mining on Environment
Rainforests are the biggest source of oxygen, wood and medicines on this earth. Amazon rainforest is known for alluvial gold deposits. Gold is found both in river channels and at the banks of the river after floods (floodplains). Hydraulic mining techniques are used for mining gold. The method involves blasting at the banks of the river. This has caused irreversible damage to trees, birds and animals. While separating the sediment and mercury from the gold-yielding gravel deposits, small-scale miners who are less equipped than industrial miners, may ignore release of some mercury into the river. This mercury enters the food chain through aquatic animals and their predators. Highly poisonous compound 'cyanide' is also used to separate gold from sediment and rock. In spite of all precautionary measures, it sometimes escapes into the surrounding environment. Those who eat fish are at greater risk of ingesting such toxins.As the professional manufacturer of complete sets of mining machinery, such as rotary dryer, Henan Hongxing is always doing the best in products and service.
Effect on Land
Deforestation: Mining requires large areas of land to be cleared so that the earth could be dug into by the miners. For this reason, large-scale deforestation is required to be carried out in the areas where mining has to be done. Besides clearing the mining area, vegetation in the adjoining areas also needs to be cut in order to construct roads and residential facilities for the mine workers. The human population brings along with it other activities that harm the environment. For example, various activities at coal mines release dust and gas into the air. Thus, mining is one of the major causes of deforestation and pollution.
Loss of Biodiversity: The forests that are cleared for mining purposes are home to a large number of organisms. Indiscriminate clearing of the forests leads to loss of habitat of a large number of animals. This puts the survival of a large number of animal species at stake. The cutting down of trees in itself is a big threat to a number of plants, trees, birds and animals growing in the forests.
Pollution: Despite measures being taken to release the chemical waste into the nearby rivers through pipes, a large amount of chemicals still leak out onto the land. This changes the chemical composition of the land. Besides this, since the chemicals are poisonous, they make the soil unsuitable for plants to grow. Also, the organisms that live in the soil find the polluted environment hostile for their survival.
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