Mining is the process of extracting essential minerals and other valuable raw materials from the earth’s surface. It is carried out in two forms; surface mining and underground mining.
There are a lot of products generated from the mineral extracted. Some of the mined products include golden crucifixes, utensils, various electronic devices like cell phones, cameras, refrigerators, and cars. Other mining products include coal, oil, gas, and other minerals.
Though mining has several benefits, the toxic waste drawbacks and other effects of mining are permanent.
1. Economic income: The country benefits a lot from private contracts and enormous earnings through the exportation of mined products. Ultimately, it increases the per capita income among individuals in the community and contributes to the human development index.
2. Job opportunities for locals: Mining creates job opportunities for the locals working in the mines. This increases employment opportunities for the country.
3. Extraction of essential resources: Mining helps in the extraction of essential resources as raw materials for products like natural gas, coal, oil, stones, and other minerals.
4. Development of infrastructure: Mining activities lead to the construction of means of transport and communication around the mining area. It can also lead to the establishment of other infrastructure services like electricity and clean water for the employees living near the mining areas.
5. Social development: Some mining companies provide accommodation services for employees and their families. This will boost employees’ morale as well as facilitate the development of social amenities such as hospitals, schools, and other social activities to keep the employees active and entertained when out of the mining site.
6. It increases business activities: With mining and the resources it generates, business activities would increase in the economy and that is great. There would be a rise in capital per income for persons in a nation and that is what we all need.
7. Technological development: Of course, there would be technological development in a nation with mining, because, with it, underground subways would be developed, and also other important technologies would be created from raw materials.
8. Economic growth: As I emphasized earlier, there would be good economic growth from mining because the raw materials would be processed to generate income. This income would then be used by the government to build the economy.
9. Development of social amenities: With mining and the economy improving, there would be the development of social amenities. Money is needed to develop healthcare, school, and other important infrastructures. With mining, the money would be easy to get.
10. Environmental awareness: Mining certainly leads to environmental awareness for the people so they can know what is underneath them and how important it is. It still teaches students and the people how to identify these minerals, so they can report to the government.
1. Destructs ecosystem: Mining activities destroy the environment through deforestation, migration of birds, and also contribute to a lot of erosion in the mining areas. As the raw materials deplete in the area, the miners abandon the mines and shift to other areas.
2. Pollution from mining waste: Mining results in the extraction of harmful products like coal and oil that cause pollution in the environment. The mining waste material and extracted minerals can contaminate rivers and lakes and as a result, it affects the growth of marine life.
3. Emission of poisonous gases: Mining products like coal lead to the emission of carbon dioxide gases which are very dangerous to the environment.
4. Deadly open pits: Abandoned pits after the mining can be very dangerous to the community. Some areas are rocky and stones which can cause accidents to those not careful when passing through them. Further, if underground mining was done, some walls can collapse and kill people. The pits can also be filled with water which can act as a breeding place for mosquitoes.
5. Affects soil PH level: The mining areas are characterized by acidity and saline because of the oxidation of the pyretic materials used. This affects the soil PH levels which fall below 4.0. Decomposition of materials and other substances leaves a lot of toxic waste materials behind.
6. It affects aquatic and terrestrial life: Mining affects aquatic life in a bad way as it pollutes the sea when the minerals are being extracted. This leads to the death of these animals and their offspring. Terrestrial animals are not left out as they may consume vegetation polluted from mining.
7. Loss of biodiversity: Most times, illegal mining is carried out which then leads to loss of biodiversity because the animals and plants were not removed from the habitat before carrying out the mining process.
8. Harmful to human health: It can be dangerous and harmful to human health if precautions are not taken. The minerals and raw materials when coming in contact with the human skin or inside the body can lead to terrible sickness or death.
9. Contaminates groundwater: The mining process contaminates groundwater when the minerals or other raw materials are extracted without carefulness. This then corrupts groundwater with lead and copper when consumed or bathed which then causes issues.
10. Leads to deforestation: In the process of mining, forests are destroyed and that is bad for planet earth because trees are important and when destroyed, leave us exposed to sunlight rays. This would then cause global warming and that is fatal because the ozone layer would begin to depreciate.