How mining impacts the environment

Mining is an important activity because of the output it gives us in the form of resources that are used in various industries. From Gold, to Coal mining surely is the source of some of the most crucial minerals and metals the run  the world. However, while sitting in the comfort of your home when you look up things like gold rate today in Bangalore 22k or 24K and get excited by the profits you just made, you might be overlooking the disastrous impact of mining on our environment. You can visit Khatabook to learn how to keep track of these prices like a pro.  So here we list out some of the most crucial and negative aspects of mining and how it impacts our environment: 

  • Effect on soil

First, it can cause soil pollution. Mining often involves a lot of movement and processing of soil. Harmful chemicals are used in this process as well to extract precious minerals from the dirt. This can lead to various kinds of soil pollution.

  • Effect on water

Second, it can impact the water supply. Just like we talked about before, mining can lead to serious water pollution. When harmful chemicals are used, they sometimes end up in nearby rivers and lakes, contaminating them and killing off important aquatic animals such as fish. Mining is the primary source of pollution from heavy metals in aquatic systems. Acid mine drainage occurs when a sulphide ore is mined. The exposed sulphides are oxidized by water and air producing sulphuric acid which then leaches heavy metals (eg copper) into rivers and streams. This causes heavy metal poisoning in fish and other organisms that live in aquatic habitats. Acid mine drainage is a major problem in coal and gold mines throughout the world and is one of the more serious environmental problems facing the mining industry.

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  • Effect on health

Third, it can be dangerous to human health and safety. The use of heavy machinery in mining is dangerous and accidents are common. This also raises health concerns since many mineworkers are exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that has been linked to lung cancer and other diseases in humans.

  • Effect on trees and surrounding ecosystem

Large areas need to be cleared for conducting different mining activities. As a part of this process and also during mining various chemical compounds are used. These compounds may escape into the environment thereby causing different kinds of pollution.

Many substances that appear during the extraction process like mercury and arsenic are highly toxic to human health. As a result, through contact with the skin or ingestion of contaminated water, humans can get severe diseases such as cancer and respiratory diseases. Unfortunately, it usually happens that these toxic chemicals end up in nearby rivers as well. Therefore, the people living in rural areas who rely on those rivers for their drinking water and cooking food get affected even more severely by these toxic substances.

Mining can also cause vibrations and dust particles to permeate the groundwater supplies of local communities. When mines close down, they do not always restore the environment to its original state, but instead leave behind open pits, tailing piles and other disruptions.

  • Effect on natural resources

Extreme mining activities often lead to heavy depletion of numerous natural resources. A majority of resources extracted through mining are not non-renewable hence if mining activities are conducted persistently in an area that area may soon run out of countless resources permanently.  While intense mining activities can lead to increased production of minerals like additional production of gold and that in turn can boost the economy by pushing up metrics like gold rate in Varanasi or Mumbai, it also pushes up the damange caused. Additionally, these resources often play a key role in the ecosystem of an area hence their depletion may force the community to rush towards an alternative once there aren’t enough resources left.

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