Mining is a product of man’s quest for development. It is a symbol of his genius mind, for he is able to discover a way to produce many things from the ground beneath his feet. Buildings, tools, equipment, and many objects came to be because amd made them possible. Man has advanced because of mining. But the earth is paying for it in many ways. For countless times, we have already discussed many of the benefits offered to us by the industry. Now, we will take its side effects. Here are some of the most prevalent of them:
- Mining can cause damage to the environment. Its operation destroys trees, vegetation and the natural state of rivers and soils. The massive destruction that it causes affects people, wildlife, and the ecosystem.
- Mining pits created by mining operations collect waters that become stagnant pools. These are ideal breeding places of mosquitoes that can bring diseases to people living nearby. The rocks, earth and mud that are displaced by mining operations contaminate the waters and disrupt the flow of rivers. They can cause destruction and death to aquatic life.
- Chemicals used in mining such as cyanide and mercury can pollute the environment. When they find their way into streams, rivers, and oceans, they can cause great destruction to aquatic life.
- Toxic wastes that come from mine tailings are often accumulated in abandoned mine pits. In time, they will be carried by rainwater into streams and rivers. Plants and animals that are exposed to these pollutants are bound to suffer from various diseases. The lead that some mines release into the air can cause mental retardation.
- People who live close to mines are often troubled by inhuman acts that include theft, drug addiction, sexual abuse, and prostitution. They are also exposed to mining-related diseases which can be difficult to treat. Many people die of these illnesses because of poverty and unavailability of medical treatment.
These are some of the most common side effects of mining operations. Authorities should look closely for these possibilities when a mining operation is proposed in their area. They should see to it that before giving permission to a mining operation, the mining company should guarantee to safeguard the health and well-being of the people and the ecosystem. We have seen and enjoyed the benefits offered by the industry, and they are all pleasing. But we can no longer give in to its side effects for the good of succeeding generations. Mining should be performed responsibly for the sake of the future.
Howard Smith is a corporate consultant focusing on fund administration, debt collection, and wealth management. He was also involved in the mining business for quite some time in the past. He recommends mining industry news at MiningIQ [http://www.miningiq.com/] as your best source of information for mining news, events and opportunities.