The Environmental Impact of Mining

Mining, like most of the activities the man does for their livelihood, make changes in the natural environment, from the subtle to the clear account impacts on the environment in which they develop.

This leads us to define the concept of environmental impact of an activity: the difference in the environment between the time the activity begins, the time the activity takes place, and above all, the moment of completion.

These questions, which a few years ago were not perceived as a risk factor for the future of humanity, now viewed with great concern that is not always justified, since man is altering the environment since it has been able to do so, but certainly abuses in this field have led to growing awareness of the need to regulate these impacts. Either way, it should also be clear that the man needs the mineral resources today, and the need in the future. Another point to note is that mining is infinitely less powerful than other industrial activities, such as the development of civil works (visual impact, modifying the original media) and agriculture (massive use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers).

Thus, at present there are very strict rules about the impact that a mine can produce, including regulation of the composition of the liquid waste, emissions of dust, noise, landscape restoration, and so on., Which indeed often very challenging to meet the high economic cost, but undoubtedly have to be made to carry out the operation.

On the other hand, we must keep in mind that mining not only produce an environmental impact, ie on the environment. It also produces so-called Socio-Economic Impact, ie a change on livelihoods and the economy of the region in which it is implanted, which may be positive in some cases and in others negative.

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