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Issue Analysis - Mining and Its Effects on the Environment

Issue Analysis - Mining and Its Effects on the Environment



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Published by Nolan Y
Non-biased and biased analysis of the issue of mining and it's effects on the environent. Gr. 10 Project.
Non-biased and biased analysis of the issue of mining and it's effects on the environent. Gr. 10 Project.

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Published by: Nolan Y on Jun 15, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Mining and its Effects on the Environment
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 theearth, usually found in ore bodies, veins, or coal seams. Mining can be carried out almostanywhere, 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 mineralsthat can be mined are coal, copper, silver, iron, gold, diamonds, etc. and everything thatcannot be grown or artificially made. The valuable minerals go through quite a processto be separated from the tailings. Mining is very important in so many ways. It gives usaccess to minerals and material that we need. There are many different uses for manydifferent 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 andsearching for different types of minerals and fossils to give you an indication of whereyou might find an ore body. Next is the exploration of the area, which involves finding and determining the extent andvalue of the mineral-rich ore, through several different methods including hands-on fieldwork, 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 toknow how ores are formed and likely places they would be formed in. Looking atmaps and knowing where ores have been found previously helps in finding thelocation of more possible ores.2.Target Generation: This stage involves investigation of the geology throughmaps, geophysics, and testing the surface and subsurface minerals of the area.Includes three distinct methods: geophysical methods, geochemical methods andremote sensing.3.Resource Evaluation : This stage lets you know the quality and quantity of themineral in the area. This is achieved mainly by drilling.4.Reserve Definition: Converts an ore resource to a mineral reserve. Similar toresource evaluation, except a lot more detailed and thorough.5.Profit Planning : This step involves planning out a mine to evaluate theeconomically 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 thesestudies, 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 itso 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 aregenerally located near the top of the earth, underground coal mines, which aremines that go underground to a coal seam, borehole mining, in which holes aredrilled 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 isachieved in many different ways, depending on what type of mine it is and whatyou want to take out of the ground.8.Ecological Rebuilding: The reclamation of the mine site to make the land suitablefor usage in the future. This means returning the land as much as you can to itsformer self, after all the mining is done. The land becomes degraded after it ismined, 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. thenecessity 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 andmaterial that we use constantly. This creates many issues, with the mining companieswanting 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 itis very good in that sense. It is very bad on the environmental side, though. We willdescribe later on just how bad mining is for the environment, and we will go into detailabout the necessity of mining.
Key playersMining Supporters:
Includes mine employees, mining companies, investors, mininglobbyists, civilians in favour of mining, and politicians in favour of using the “currentmethods 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 theenvironment to extract the necessary minerals.Beliefs and Values: Mining companies believe that what they do is worth it. They don’tcare about the environment; their sole value is profit. They believe that environmentalistsare wrong, and that what they do is for the greater good. They think that economyoutweighs 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 miningand 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 themining industry. They persuade the public and members of government that mining is beneficial and necessary, while downplaying the cons of mining. This includes holdingmeetings and lectures, and giving speeches talking about their beliefs and values. Thesego strictly against the thoughts and beliefs of environmentalists against mining. They tryto pursue people into thinking mining is good, because of the necessity of all of thematerial mined, as in jewelry and every day uses.Beliefs and Values: Mining lobbyists believe that the current methods of mining are theright, and only, ways to go. They will fight for the mining companies, convincing anyonewho will listen that
company is right, and that the current methods of mining aresafe, relatively eco-friendly, necessary, etc. They have a lot of the same beliefs as peoplein the mining companies. They look at mining as being necessary because of how muchwe 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 feelabout how mining is accomplished, we use its minerals all the time. For example, everytime you turn on your television, you are utilizing 35 different minerals procured throughmining. We sometimes don’t realize how much we use mined products. All the jewelrywe own is mined, as well as the copper in wires, and a vast number of other things we usein our everyday lives.Beliefs and Values: Civilians who believe in the current methods of mining think it’snecessary to extract minerals. Those types of people are the type that listen to mininglobbyists and who have the same beliefs and values as them.Politicians: Mining is always a hot topic in politics. Platforms are built and broken onthe issue. Politicians are forced to take a stance on the subject. They have to makedecisions on whether they think the mines that are going to be built will be economical aswell as environmentally-friendly. Mining is a pretty big issue in politics, and it can be adeciding factor in whether or not some people vote for them.Beliefs and Values: Politicians have to make up their minds about what they think isright as far as mining is concerned. Politicians who are for the current methods of mininghave to explain to people their beliefs on why they think the current methods of mining

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this was a good article........when the effect of mining is far greater than the advantage then what is the essence of mining...plse keep it up...........
this was a good article........when the effect of mining is far greater than the advantage then what is the essence of mining.........
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