Endangering Environmental Issues

1007 Words5 Pages
Increased urbanization and industrialization has led to large amounts of toxic contaminants being released into the environment all over the world. Though mining of solid minerals has enormous social and economic benefits to the nations, but the long term adverse effects in terms of waste generated and the environmental problems associated with its activities cannot be overlooked.
The various steps involved in the mining industry are endangering processes with great impacts on health, socio-economic and the environment. These impacts are felt throughout the whole phases of the mining activities and after mine closure (Akabzaa, 2000).
The three principal activities of the mining industry; mining, mineral processing and metallurgical extraction
…show more content…
It entails lots of destructive multistep processes which can result in displacement of communities, pollution of water and land with toxic chemicals such as mercury, devastating effects on workers’ health and destruction of virgin environments. The use of the cyanide leaching technique in extraction has resulted in series of negative environmental impacts. Large quantities of water and energy are being used up and there is distinct changes in topography, hydrology, stability of the landscape and accumulation of pollutant in the environment. Emission of hydrogen cyanide, global warming and generation of hazardous wastes that endangers the health of people and ecosystems (Hilson, 2002 ; Bakatula et al. 2012). Mining involves production of large quantities of waste, especially from gold mines, which account for more than 99% of the ore extracted as waste (Adler & Rustler, 2007). Disposal of such large quantities of waste poses tremendous challenges for the gold mining industry and may significantly impact the…show more content…
There is also limited capacity to move large quantities of material and the waste generated are discarded to several meters of the mine opening or pit. Shallow open-pits are usually created as a result of the removal of thin overburden over the deeper parts of the ore body adjacent to the exposed surface. To get access to the lower grade ores, open –pit or underground methods are employed at greater depths to reach the deposits. The ore is then crushed into finely ground tailings for processing with various chemicals and separating processes to extract the final product. Open-pit mine produce 8 to 10 times as much waste as underground mines. This results in a large amount of wastes being generated because a greater amount of topsoil, overburden and barren or waste rock has to be removed. Large deposit of these wastes has accumulated over the centuries and has lots of negative impact on the environments (BRGM, 2001; Dold,

More about Endangering Environmental Issues

Open Document