Mining activities usually takes place in specific regions but has a large local impacts on the environment with potentially adverse effect on the communities located very close to such area (Lottermoser, 2003). In South Africa, gold mining has played a tremendous role in the sustenance and development of the country’s economy, it is also a major polluter and degrader of the ecosystem. Gold mining in the Witwatersrand began in 1886 and since this period, over 50 thousand tonnes of gold has been mined. As at 2010, close to 300 tailings dams are found in the Witwatersrand area (Oelofse, 2010). Most of this dams are unlined and without vegetation covers thus providing a source of extensive dust as well as water and soil (surface and groundwater) pollution (AngloGold Ashanti, 2004).
The biggest consequence of gold mining is the environmental blow it causes. Mining leads to the release of thousands of tonnes of CO2, a greenhouse gas capable of resulting in global warming. In addition, gold mining may cause erosion, contamination of water sources, land pollution and health problems. Governments worldwide are actively encouraging the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste) to obtain reusable components. “There's gold in waste - literally.
However, Ntibrey (2015) found out that most small-scale miners popularly engage in gold mining. Gold is one of the world’s most cherished and expensive minerals; Gold is a product of the natural environment and hence people use any means to extract it. This has become a major environmental issue in areas which are rich with these minerals especially Ghana and some parts of Africa and Asia (Hilson, 2002). It is estimated that globally more than 12-15 million miners including 4 million women and over 1 million children are involved in small scale gold mining (ILO, 2013). According to Tschakert and Singha (2007) about 85% of the total labour force operates without an official license.
• Aerial Island’s entire source of agriculture is located within Zone A, with the highest risk of being destroyed by the eruption. If not already destroyed, acid rain (caused by sulphur dioxide) can affect crops directly and reduce yields from agriculture. Livestock and other animals will be killed by lava, pyroclastic flows and gases. • Lahars are mudflows flowing at very fast speed. When moving, it resembles a mass of wet concrete carrying rock debris.
The Gold Rush’s Lasting Legacy on the Environment The California Gold Rush from 1848 to 1855 was a time filled with excitement and prosperity, in which thousands of people came to California to pull gold from the now Sierra Mountains. Gold was one of the most sought-after mineral on this planet, often treasured for its monetary and aesthetic value. Gold has been a rarity due to its difficulty in extracting and refining. Gold is often only extracted through placer mining, hydraulic mining, and lode mining. The promise of a fortune, and the mass migration left a lasting legacy in California’s history.
Mercury in Fish Mercury, Despite the fact that it is highly toxic, it has been used in widely around the world in situations such as extracting gold and in products such as thermometers. Although the world is working hard to cut down mercury, it remains as a major problem. (Royal Society of Chemistry N.D.) Mercury is an artificial chemical element, a metal created by human beings. It was originally introduced by Spain and was then widely used around the world to extract gold. In modern days, China and Kyrgyzstan produce the most amount of mercury in the world through serving as catalysts in chemical industries and being used in electrical switches and rectifiers.
Coal makes big catastrophes to the atmosphere and health, and it is because it exudes lots of quantities of chemicals compounds to the air, water, and land such as mercury, uranium, thorium, arsenic and other heavy metals. A report issued by the World Health Organization, indicates that the coal particulates pollution is estimated to shorten approximately 1,000,000 lives annually worldwide (World Health Organization et al, 2011). The maritime logistic chain would be affected because in the near future countries will demand less coal and in the long run a complete shift of product. . Due to the greenhouse effects coal burning produces, big consumers of coal like China and India will be forced to decrease their coal consumption.
Mining is a major economic activity in many developing countries such as Ethiopia (Tauli, 1997: UNEP,1997).Operations, whether small or large-scale, are inherently disruptive to the environment, producing enormous quantities of waste that can have deleterious impacts for decades (UNEP, 1997). The environmental deterioration caused by mining occurs mainly as a result of inappropriate and wasteful working practices and rehabilitation measures. Mining has a number of common stages or activities(exploration, development and mining stage), each of which has potentially-adverse impacts on the natural environment, society and cultural heritage, the health and safety of mine workers, and communities based in close proximity to operations (Moody and
GREEN PROCUREMENT OF FUEL INTRODUCTION Mining is the process of extraction of valuable materials or geological materials from the deposits which are also called as reserves from the earth’s surface. Through mining we usually get metals, coal, oil shale, limestone, potash, gravel etc. in addition to that we also have the extraction of crude oil, natural gas and so on. In short we have the extraction of all states of fuel solid, liquid and gas. Whatever the fuel type maybe, mining of these fuels will ultimately have a negative impact on the environment during the mining activity and as well as the after the mine has been closed.
Water pollution caused by heavy metals is a global problem. The discharge of toxic metals into the ecosystem may severely affect the biotic as well as abiotic components of the environment. These metals are generally derived from different industrial activities such as mining, metal finishing, battery manufacturing, electroplating, etc. and are responsible for contaminating the receiving water bodies even when present in trace amounts. This is due to their carcinogenic and toxic properties (ATSDR, 2013).