issue analysis mining and its effects on the environment

the environmental impact of mining (different mining methods compared) | get green now

the environmental impact of mining (different mining methods compared) | get green now

Mining remains an essential and growing part of the modern industry. By some estimates, itmakes up nearly 45%of the total global economy, and mineral production continues to increase as demand for raw materials grows around the world.

Ore dust and gases released by the mining process are bad for the health of miners as well as the environment. Over time, exposure to the dust created by mining operations can lead to disease and buildup of scar tissue in the lungs.

Materials left over by the mining process can easily make their way into local water systems, leading to increased acidity and heavy metal contamination that can destroy wildlife and render water undrinkable.

Some forms of mining also require the draining of underground water reservoirs called aquifers, which can cause serious impacts like drying up springs, cutting off rivers and degrading local ecosystems.

Pit mining, one of the most common techniques, hollows out land to extract raw materials. It blasts away land and strips vegetation, leaving the area vulnerable to soil erosion the wearing away of the topsoil layer of time. Topsoil is necessary for plants to grow, and without it, mining sites cant truly recover.

All these different effects add up to serious on-site habitat damage. Mining also creates knock-on effects like water pollution, air pollution and vegetation loss as a result of soil eruption. This can lead to greater habitat loss beyond the immediate location.

The land left behind, if not rehabilitated, is typically vulnerable to further soil erosion, further scattering what little topsoil was left over. Its often not suitable for plant or animal life. Without human intervention, it may take years or decades for the land to become usable again.

Underground mining, where miners tunnel beneath the Earths surface to extract mineral deposits, is rarer than open-pit mining. In 2014, itmade up about 5%of all American mining operations and has less of an impact on the surface.

With this mining method, rocks and minerals are brought to the surface from tunnels underground. There, toxic chemicals in the waste material can escape into the environment and local waterways if not properly disposed of.

Underground mines can also cause subsidence on the surface the land above begins to sink, usually when underground supports fail in abandoned or inactive mines. This can shift buildings, destroy infrastructure and harm the surface environment.

Underground mining can also sometimes lower the water table. If miners need to dig through an aquifer or water-laden layer of earth, water will need to be pumped out of the mine for work to continue. This dewatering can dry up springs, cut off rivers and degrade local ecosystems.

Some mining techniqueslike in-situ leaching, which uses acid and water to remove minerals from a site without significantly disturbing the surface have much less environmental impact. In-situ mining techniques can use less water than open-pit mining and underground mining, and also reduce the risk of releasing ore dust into the atmosphere.

However, even low-impact mining techniques like in-situ mining arent consequence-free. The strong acids used to break down ore and rocks can result in acidification of the surrounding environment. The acids can also dissolve the metal and radioactive isotopes in these ores during the leaching process, both of which can find their way into nearby water sources.

Ore residue and acid leach heaps left by mining processes can also erode rock and eventually pollute waterways. At the Holden Mine Superfund Site, for example, more than 100 million metric tons of leftover materials are currently at risk of leaching into the Columbia River.

The company that owns the mine invested in a remediation wall to prevent these toxic waste materials from leaching into the river, but the wall isnt a permanent solution. Severe flooding could easily wash the waste elements into waterways, meaning the site will likely require further rehabilitation.

Plastic and rubber left by equipment like earth-mover tires will stick around if not directly addressed. This can pose other problems, too like the air pollution created as a result of diesel-burning engines.

Whats more, even though rehabilitation can prevent the effects of mining from getting worse over time, not all companies invest in rehabilitating their sites. As a result, many are left alone to pollute the nearby environment for years or even decades to come.

Companies may move in the direction of sustainability especially as pressure from individuals and governments push them to comply with higher standards ofenvironmental and social governance (ESG). Expert leaders on ESGand industry professionals from within miningpredict operations will begin to think more seriously about sustainability.

With the use of biosolids nutrient-rich organics derived from sewage treatment processes that are often used as soil conditioners in agriculture it may be possible to reintroduce plant life to former mining sites in as few as 12 weeks.

Other, even more ambitious rehabilitation plans are focused on the best possible stewardship of former mining sites. These plans look to not only rehabilitate the land, but also aim to reintroduce 100%of the species that were living there before operations began.

Machines with electric engines are becoming increasingly popular, with some companies, like Swedish mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc, even going so far as to pledge using100% electric products over the next few years. Widespread adoption of electric engines could easily help the industry reduce the amount of carbon dioxide it naturally produces.

Low-impact mining techniques are also becoming more popular. In-situ mining is seeing bigger use in countries like China, which is trying to grapple withgrowing mineral demand,the size of the mining industry and the significant impact on the environment.

Social changes from outside the industry may also naturally reduce minings carbon footprint over time and encourage more environmentally friendly techniques. For example, as businessesturn away from nonrenewable resources, mining may naturally follow suit.

This is troubling for those who care about the environment. Mining can often be devastating causing water acidification, soil erosion and the degradation of local ecosystems. While some methods have less impact than others, it almost always has a serious and lasting environmental impact.

Fortunately, there is some hope that mining will become more sustainable in the future. The adoption of low-impact techniques and more eco-friendly equipment plus pressure from environmentally minded individuals and governments may make the industry more eco-friendly over time.

Jenna is a tech journalist who co-ownsThe Byte Beatand frequently writes about the latest news in technology, disruptive tech, and environmental science and more. Check out her work on TBB or follow her on [email protected]_tsui!

A small, plastic straw Its something that comes with most beverages that we order, often without us noticing. Though at first this small straw may not seem like a lot, when its usage is added up, plastic straws create a big problem for the environment.

If youve ever had to take care of a baby, then you know that they need a lot of diapers. So, what exactly is the environmental impact of diapers, and are they environmentally friendly? The short answer is that disposable diapers are not eco-friendly. They are single-use products that are not biodegradable. Billions of them

Thousands of toxic waste sites exist in the U.S as a consequence of improper waste disposal, resulting in the pollution and poisoning of lands for years to come. These heavily contaminated sites can include abandoned mines, industrial sites, landfills, waste dumps, and more. During the 1970s, infamous toxic dump sites such as Love Canal and

There are manybenefits of using hydroponicgrowing over the traditional soil method of growing. In this article, well cover the environmental benefits of hydroponic farming. But, before we begin talking about the benefits, lets go over what hydroponics is first for those who may not know. What Is Hydroponic Growing and Hydroponics? Hydroponics is the process

As you would expect, electronic waste (also known as e-waste) refers to discarded electronic devices. This can include items like cell phones, tablets, computers, TVs, or any other electronics that are no longer needed or used by the owner. These old electronic items must be disposed of properly to avoid the damaging effects of e-waste

A few reasons why you should help the Earth Here are a few reasons why you should help the Earth, although the complete list of why to help is ENDLESS! Get out there, and help the Earth. Save Money! If you drive lessor dont drive at all, you will be using less gas. Gas costs

Hi, Im Hugh, and my mission with Get Green Now is to raise awareness of environmental issues and teach people how to live sustainably. This blog covers a variety of topics including plastic pollution, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and much more.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links on this site may be referral or affiliate links. Buying a product through my link comes at no extra cost to you, and I only recommend products that I believe in. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol | environmental evidence | full text

evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol | environmental evidence | full text

Mining activities, including prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing of a mine can impact social and environmental systems in a range of positive and negative, and direct and indirect ways. Mining can yield a range of benefits to societies, but it may also cause conflict, not least in relation to above-ground and sub-surface land use. Similarly, mining can alter environments, but remediation and mitigation can restore systems. Boreal and Arctic regions are sensitive to impacts from development, both on social and environmental systems. Native ecosystems and aboriginal human communities are typically affected by multiple stressors, including climate change and pollution, for example.

We will search a suite of bibliographic databases, online search engines and organisational websites for relevant research literature using a tested search strategy. We will also make a call for evidence to stakeholders that have been identified in the wider 3MK project (https://osf.io/cvh3u/). We will screen identified and retrieved articles at two distinct stages (title and abstract, and full text) according to a predetermined set of inclusion criteria, with consistency checks at each level to ensure criteria can be made operational. We will then extract detailed information relating to causal linkages between actions or impacts and measured outcomes, along with descriptive information about the articles and studies and enter data into an interactive systematic map database. We will visualise this database on an Evidence Atlas (an interactive, cartographic map) and identify knowledge gaps and clusters using Heat Maps (cross-tabulations of important variables, such as mineral type and studied impacts). We will identify good research practices that may support researchers in selecting the best study designs where these are clear in the evidence base.

Mining activities, including prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing of a mine can impact social and environmental systems in a range of positive and negative, and direct and indirect ways. Mine exploration, construction, operation, and maintenance may result in land-use change, and may have associated negative impacts on environments, including deforestation, erosion, contamination and alteration of soil profiles, contamination of local streams and wetlands, and an increase in noise level, dust and emissions (e.g. [1,2,3,4,5]). Mine abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing may also result in similar significant environmental impacts, such as soil and water contamination [6,7,8]. Beyond the mines themselves, infrastructure built to support mining activities, such as roads, ports, railway tracks, and power lines, can affect migratory routes of animals and increase habitat fragmentation [9, 10].

Mining can also have positive and negative impacts on humans and societies. Negative impacts include those on human health (e.g. [11]) and living standards [12], for example. Mining is also known to affect traditional practices of Indigenous peoples living in nearby communities [13], and conflicts in land use are also often present, as are other social impacts including those related to public health and human wellbeing (e.g. [14,15,16,17]. In terms of positive impacts, mining is often a source of local employment and may contribute to local and regional economies [18, 19]. Remediation of the potential environmental impacts, for example through water treatment and ecological restoration, can have positive net effects on environmental systems [20]. Mine abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing can also have both positive and negative social impacts. Examples of negative impacts include loss of jobs and local identities [21], while positive impact can include opportunities for new economic activities [22], e.g. in the repurposing of mines to become tourist attractions.

Mitigation measures (as described in the impact assessment literature) are implemented to avoid, eliminate, reduce, control or compensate for negative impacts and ameliorate impacted systems [23]. Such measures must be considered and outlined in environmental and social impact assessments (EIAs and SIAs) that are conducted prior to major activities such as resource extraction [24, 25]. Mitigation of negative environmental impacts in one system (e.g. water or soil) can influence other systems such as wellbeing of local communities and biodiversity in a positive or negative manner [23]. A wide range of technological engineering solutions have been implemented to treat contaminated waters (e.g. constructed wetlands [26], reactive barriers treating groundwater [27], conventional wastewater treatment plants). Phytoremediation of contaminated land is also an area of active research [28].

Mitigation measures designed to alleviate the negative impacts of mining on social and environmental systems may not always be effective, particularly in the long-term and across systems, e.g. a mitigation designed to affect an environmental change may have knock on changes in a social system. Indeed, the measures may have unintentional adverse impacts on environments and societies. To date, little research appears to have been conducted into mitigation measure effectiveness, and we were unable to find any synthesis or overview of the systems-level effectiveness of metal mining mitigation measures.

Boreal and Arctic regions are sensitive to impacts from mining and mining-related activities [29, 30], both on social and environmental systems: these northern latitudes are often considered harsh and thus challenging for human activities and industrial development. However, the Arctic is home to substantial mineral resources [31, 32] and has been in focus for mining activities for several 100years, with a marked increase in the early 20th century and intensifying interest in exploration and exploitation in recent years to meet a growing global demand for metals(Fig. 1). Given the regions geological features and societys need for metals, resource extraction is likely to dominate discourse on development of northern latitudes in the near future. As of 2015, there were some 373 mineral mines across Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, The Faroes, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland and Russia (see Table1), with the top five minerals being gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc [33].

Many topics relating to mining and its impacts on environmental and social systems are underrepresented in the literature as illustrated by the following example. The Sami people are a group of traditional people inhabiting a region spanning northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Sami people are affected by a range of external pressures, one of which pertains to resource extraction and land rights, particularly in relation to nomadic reindeer herding. However, there is almost no published research on the topic [34].

The literature on the environmental and social impacts of mining has grown in recent years, but despite its clear importance, there has been little synthesis of research knowledge pertaining to the social and environmental impacts of metal mining in Arctic and boreal regions. The absence of a consolidated knowledge base on the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of mitigation measures in Arctic and boreal regions is a significant knowledge gap in the face of the continued promotion of extractive industries. There is thus an urgent need for approaches that can transparently and legitimately gather research evidence on the potential environmental and social impacts of mining and the impacts of associated mitigation measures in a rigorous manner.

This systematic map forms a key task within a broader knowledge synthesis project called 3MK (Mapping the impacts of Mining using Multiple Knowledges, https://osf.io/cvh3u/). The stakeholder group for this map includes representatives of organisations affected by the broader 3MK project knowledge mapping project or who have special interests in the project outcome. We define stakeholders here as all individuals or organisations that might be affected by the systematic map work or its findings [35, 36], and thus broadly includes researchers and the Working and Advisory Group for this project.

Invitations to be included in this group were based on an initial stakeholder mapping process and soliciting expressions of interest (see Stakeholder Engagement Methodology Document, https://osf.io/cvh3u/). This group included government ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, the Mineral Inspectorate (Bergstaten) and County Administrative Boards, the mining industries branch organisation (Svemin) and individual companies such as LKAB Minerals and Boliden AB, Sami organisations, including the Sami Parliament, related research projects, and representatives of international assessment processes, such as activities within the Arctic Council. Stakeholders were invited to a specific meeting (held at Stockholm Environment Institute in September 2018) to help refine the scope, define the key elements of the review question, finalise a search strategy, and suggest sources of evidence, and also to subsequently provide comments on the structure of the protocol .

The broader 3MK project aims to develop a multiple evidence base methodology [37] combining systematic review approaches with documentation of Indigenous and local knowledge and to apply this approach in a study of the impacts of metal mining and impacts of mitigation measures. This systematic map aims to answer the question:

The review question has the following key elements: Population: : Social, technological (i.e. industrial contexts, heavily altered environments, etc.) and environmental systems in circumpolar Arctic and boreal regions. Intervention/exposure: : Impacts (direct and indirect, positive and negative) associated with metal mining (for gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead) or its mitigation measures. We focus on these metals as they represent approximately 88% of Arctic and boreal mines (according to relevant country operating mine data from 2015, [33]), and contains the top 5 minerals extracted in the region (gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc). Furthermore, these minerals include all metals mined within Sweden, the scope of a related workstream within the broader 3MK project (https://osf.io/cvh3u/). Comparator: : For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. Additionally, alternative mining systems is a suitable comparator. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required. Outcome: : Any and all outcomes observed in social and environmental systems described in the literature will be iteratively identified and catalogued. Data type: : Both quantitative and qualitative research will be included.

Impacts (direct and indirect, positive and negative) associated with metal mining (for gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead) or its mitigation measures. We focus on these metals as they represent approximately 88% of Arctic and boreal mines (according to relevant country operating mine data from 2015, [33]), and contains the top 5 minerals extracted in the region (gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc). Furthermore, these minerals include all metals mined within Sweden, the scope of a related workstream within the broader 3MK project (https://osf.io/cvh3u/).

For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. Additionally, alternative mining systems is a suitable comparator. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required.

The review will follow the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Guidelines and Standards for Evidence Synthesis in Environmental Management [38] and it conforms to ROSES reporting standards [39] (see Additional file 1).

We will search bibliographic databases using a tested search string adapted to each database according to the necessary input syntax of each resource. The Boolean version of the search string that will be used in Web of Science Core Collections can be found in Additional file 2.

We will search across 17 bibliographic databases as show in Table2. Bibliographic database searches will be performed in English only, since these databases catalogue research using English titles and abstracts.

Searches for academic (i.e. file-drawer) and organisational grey literature (as defined by [40]) will be performed in Google Scholar, which has been shown to be effective in retrieving these types of grey literature [41]. The search strings used to search for literature in Google Scholar are described in detail in Additional file 3.

Search results will be exported from Google Scholar using Publish or Perish [42], which allows the first 1000 results to be exported. These records will be added to the bibliographic database search results prior to duplicate removal.

In order to identify organisational grey literature, we will search for relevant evidence across the suite of organisational websites listed in Table3. For each website, we will save the first 100 search results from each search string as PDF/HTML files and screening the results in situ, recording all relevant full texts for inclusion in the systematic map database. The search terms used will be based on the same terms used in the Google Scholar searches described above but will be adapted iteratively for each website depending on the relevance of the results obtained. In addition, we will hand search each website to locate and screen any articles found in publications or bibliography sections of the sites. All search activities will be recorded and described in the systematic map report.

Relevant reviews that are identified during screening will be reserved for assessment of potentially missed records. Once screening is complete (see below), we will screen the reference lists of these reviews and include relevant full texts in the systematic map database. We will also retain these relevant reviews in an additional systematic map database of review articles.

A set of 41 studies known to be relevant have been provided by the Advisory Team and Working Group (review team); the benchmark list (see Additional file 4). During scoping and development of the search string, the bibliographic database search results will be checked to ascertain whether any of these studies were not found. For any cases where articles on the benchmark list are missed by the draft search string, we will examine why these studies may have been missed and adapt the search string accordingly.

We will perform a search update immediately prior to completion of the systematic map database (i.e. once coding and meta-data is completed). The search strategy for bibliographic databases will be repeated using the same search string, restricting searches to the time period after the original searches were performed. New search results will be processed in the same way as original search results.

A subset of 10% of all titles and abstracts will be screened by two reviewers, with all disagreements discussed in detail. Refinements of the inclusion criteria will be made in liaison with the entire review team where necessary. A kappa test will be performed on the outputs of screening of this subset and where agreement is below k=0.6, a further 10% of records will be screened and tested. Only when a kappa score of greater than 0.6 is obtained will a single reviewer screen the remaining records. Consistency checking on a subset of 10% will be undertaken at full text screening in a similar manner, followed by discussion of all disagreements. A kappa test will be performed and consistency checking repeated on a second subset of 10% where agreements is below k=0.6. Consistency checking will be repeated until a score of greater than 0.6 is obtained.

The following inclusion criteria will be used to assess relevance of studies identified through searching. All inclusion criteria will be used at full text screening, but we believe that data type and comparator are unlikely to be useful at title and abstract screening, since this information is often not well-reported in titles or abstracts. Eligible population: : We will include social, technological and environmental systems in Arctic and boreal regions based on political boundaries as follows (this encompasses various definitions of boreal zones, rather than any one specific definition for comprehensiveness and ease of understanding): Canada, USA (Alaska), Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Eligible intervention/exposure: : We will include all impacts (positive, negative, direct and indirect) associated with any aspect of metal mining and its mitigation measures. We will include research pertaining to all stages of mining, from prospecting onwards as follows: prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning, reopening and repurposing. Eligible mines will include those of gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead. Eligible comparator: : For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required. Eligible outcome: : Any and all outcomes (i.e. measured impacts) observed in social, technological and environmental systems will be included. Eligible data type: : We will include both quantitative and qualitative research. Eligible study type: : We will include both primary empirical research and secondary research (reviews will be catalogued in a separate database). Modelling studies and commentaries will not be included.

We will include social, technological and environmental systems in Arctic and boreal regions based on political boundaries as follows (this encompasses various definitions of boreal zones, rather than any one specific definition for comprehensiveness and ease of understanding): Canada, USA (Alaska), Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

We will include all impacts (positive, negative, direct and indirect) associated with any aspect of metal mining and its mitigation measures. We will include research pertaining to all stages of mining, from prospecting onwards as follows: prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning, reopening and repurposing. Eligible mines will include those of gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead.

For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required.

Exclude, not relevant metal mining (intervention/exposure) [this category is related to the above intervention/exposure exclusion criteria but will only be selected where all other criteria are met, facilitating expansion of the map in the future].

We will attempt to retrieve full texts of relevant abstracts using Stockholm University and Carleton University library subscriptions. Where full texts cannot be readily retrieved this way (or via associated library inter-loan networks), we will make use of institutional access provided to our Advisory Team members, including: University College London, KTH, University of Lapland, and SLU. Where records still cannot be obtained, requests for articles will be sent to corresponding authors where email addresses are provided and/or requests for full texts will be made through ResearchGate.

None of the review team has authored or worked on research within this field prior to starting this project, but members of the Advisory Team and project Working Group will be prevented from providing advice or comments relating specifically to research papers to which they may have contributed.

We will extract and code a range of variables, outlined in Table4. All meta-data and coding will be included in a detailed systematic map database, with each line representing one study-location (i.e. each independent study conducted in each independent location).

Meta-data extraction and coding will be performed by multiple reviewers following consistency checking on an initial coding of subset of between 10 and 15 full texts, discussing all disagreements. The remaining full texts will then be coded. If resources allow we may contact authors by email with requests for missing information.

We will display the results of the systematic mapping using a ROSES flow diagram [44]. We will narratively synthesise the relevant evidence base in our systematic map using descriptive plots and tables showing the number of studies identified across the variables described above. For more complex data, we will use heat maps to display the volume of evidence across multiple variables (see Knowledge gap and cluster identification strategy, below).

We will use interactive heat maps (pivot charts) to display the volume of evidence across multiple dimensions of meta-data in order to identify knowledge gaps (sub-topics un- or under-represented by evidence) and knowledge clusters (sub-topics with sufficient evidence to allow full synthesis). Examples of meta-data variables that will be used together include (this is an indicative rather than exhaustive list):

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We thank the project Advisory Team for comments on the project and the draft: the team consisted of Dag Avango, Steven Cooke, Sif Johansson, Rebecca Lawrence, Pamela Lesser, Bjrn hlander, Kaisa Raito, Rebecca Rees, and Maria Teng. We also thank the 3MK stakeholder group for valuable input. We also thank Mistra EviEM for co-funding the first Advisory Group meeting and publication fees for the systematic map.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Haddaway, N.R., Cooke, S.J., Lesser, P. et al. Evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in Arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol. Environ Evid 8, 9 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13750-019-0152-8

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environmental impact of mining and mineral processing | sciencedirect

environmental impact of mining and mineral processing | sciencedirect

Environmental Impact of Mining and Mineral Processing: Management, Monitoring, and Auditing Strategies covers all the aspects related to mining and the environment, including environmental assessment at the early planning stages, environmental management during mine operation, and the identification of major impacts. Technologies for the treatment of mining, mineral processing, and metallurgical wastes are also covered, along with environmental management of mining wastes, including disposal options and the treatment of mining effluents.

Environmental Impact of Mining and Mineral Processing: Management, Monitoring, and Auditing Strategies covers all the aspects related to mining and the environment, including environmental assessment at the early planning stages, environmental management during mine operation, and the identification of major impacts. Technologies for the treatment of mining, mineral processing, and metallurgical wastes are also covered, along with environmental management of mining wastes, including disposal options and the treatment of mining effluents.

what is the environmental impact of the mining industry? - worldatlas

what is the environmental impact of the mining industry? - worldatlas

Mining is the extraction of minerals and other geological materials of economic value from deposits on the Earth. Mining adversely affects the environment by inducing loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and contamination of surface water, groundwater, and soil. Mining can also trigger the formation of sinkholes. The leakage of chemicals from mining sites can also have detrimental effects on the health of the population living at or around the mining site.

In some countries, mining companies are expected to adhere to rehabilitation and environmental codes to ensure that the area mined is eventually transformed back into its original state. However, violations of such rules are quite common.

Air quality is adversely affected by mining operations. Unrefined materials are released when mineral deposits are exposed on the surface through mining. Wind erosion and nearby vehicular traffic cause such materials to become airborne. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic elements are often present in such particles. These pollutants can damage the health of people living near the mining site. Diseases of the respiratory system and allergies can be triggered by the inhalation of such airborne particles.

Mining also causes water pollution which includes metal contamination, increased sediment levels in streams, and acid mine drainage. Pollutants released from processing plants, tailing ponds, underground mines, waste-disposal areas, active or abandoned surface or haulage roads, etc., act as the top sources of water pollution. Sediments released through soil erosion cause siltation or the smothering of stream beds. It adversely impacts irrigation, swimming, fishing, domestic water supply, and other activities dependent on such water bodies. High concentrations of toxic chemicals in water bodies pose a survival threat to aquatic flora and fauna and terrestrial species dependent on them for food. The acidic water released from metal mines or coal mines also drains into surface water or seeps below ground to acidify groundwater. The loss of normal pH of water can have disastrous effects on life sustained by such water.

The creation of landscape blots like open pits and piles of waste rocks due to mining operations can lead to the physical destruction of the land at the mining site. Such disruptions can contribute to the deterioration of the area's flora and fauna. There is also a huge possibility that many of the surface features that were present before mining activities cannot be replaced after the process has ended. The removal of soil layers and deep underground digging can destabilize the ground which threatens the future of roads and buildings in the area. For example, lead ore mining in Galena, Kansas between 1980 and 1985 triggered about 500 subsidence collapse features that led to the abandonment of the mines in the area. The entire mining site was later restored between 1994 and1995.

Often, the worst effects of mining activities are observed after the mining process has ceased. The destruction or drastic modification of the pre-mined landscape can have a catastrophic impact on the biodiversity of that area. Mining leads to a massive habitat loss for a diversity of flora and fauna ranging from soil microorganisms to large mammals. Endemic species are most severely affected since even the slightest disruptions in their habitat can result in extinction or put them at high risk of being wiped out. Toxins released through mining can wipe out entire populations of sensitive species.

A landscape affected by mining can take a long time to heal. Sometimes it never recovers. Remediation efforts do not always ensure that the biodiversity of the area is restored. Species might be lost permanently.

social and environmental impacts of mining | springerlink

social and environmental impacts of mining | springerlink

Mining activities are associated with various social, economic and environmental impacts. Economically, they contribute to government revenue and employ a significant number of people. There are however some social negative impacts associated with mining including violence, child labour, escalation of gender inequalities, health and environmental effects including deforestation and pollution. In this section, the focus will be on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). However, environmental impacts of industrial sand mining will be explored.

mining subsidence and its effect on the environment: some differing examples | springerlink

mining subsidence and its effect on the environment: some differing examples | springerlink

The impact of mining subsidence on the environment can occasionally be very catastrophic, destroying property and even leading to the loss of life. Usually, however, such subsidence gives rise to varying degrees of structural damage that can range from slight to very severe. Different types of mineral deposits have been mined in different ways and this determines the nature of the associated subsidence. Some mining methods result in contemporaneous subsidence whereas, with others, subsidence may occur long after the mine workings have been abandoned. In the latter instance, it is more or less impossible to predict the effects or timing of subsidence. A number of different mineral deposits have been chosen to illustrate the different types of associated subsidence that result and the problems that arise. The examples provided are gold mining in the Johannesburg area; bord and pillar mining of coal in the Witbank Coalfield, South Africa; longwall mining of coal in the Ruhr district; mining of chalk and limestone in Suffolk and the West Midlands, respectively; and solution mining of salt in Cheshire. These mineral deposits have often been worked for more than 100 years and, therefore, a major problem results from abandoned mines, especially those at shallow depth, the presence of which is unrecorded. Abandoned mines at shallow depth can represent a serious problem in areas that are being developed or redeveloped. Abstraction of natural brine has given rise to subsidence with its own particular problems and cannot be predicted. Although such abstraction is now inconsequential in Cheshire, dereliction associated with past subsidence still remains.

Bell, F., Stacey, T. & Genske, D. Mining subsidence and its effect on the environment: some differing examples. Environmental Geology 40, 135152 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s002540000140

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