Posts Tagged ‘Environmental’

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Ecological Impact of Mining

The ecological impact of mining can be summarized as follows:

* Salting, drying and water shortages because of the enormous quantities of fresh water required for the extraction process
* Release and migration of heavy metals in the ecosystem
* Displacement of thousands of tons of ore causes sedimentation in rivers, vulnerability to wind and water erosion
* Environmental liabilities after the exploitation and destruction of the original ecosystem of the site
* Migration of highly toxic cyanide in groundwater and surface water and ecosystem
* Drainage acid, which is a major threat particularly in the extraction of sulfides.

Harmful effects of cyanide

Current technology for gold mining to separate uses cyanide gold from the non-valuable minerals. Cyanide is a highly toxic, the lethal dose for humans is 50-200 mg. However, on reaching the environment cyanide, heavy metals are linked to cyanide in the long run are the biggest problem. Cyanide breaks down relatively quickly, however heavy metals remain forever in the environment.
Acid drainage

Acid drainage is a serious problem in many metal mines, since metals such as gold, copper, silver and molybdenum are often associated with sulfides. By not controlling acid mine drainage, filter streams, rivers and groundwater. Acid water and heavy metals are lethal to fish, animals and plants and can still cause damage to the environment indefinitely after mine closure.
Opencast mining and the original ecosystem Read the rest of this entry »