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CHAPTER 23 . MINERALS & MINING. MINERALS & MINING. A RESOURCE MINING METHODS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS SUSTAINABILITY. BACK TO GEOLOGY, ROCK CYCLE, LITHOSPHERE. ROCK: “A solid aggregation of minerals.”

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Chapter 23

CHAPTER 23

MINERALS & MINING


Minerals mining
MINERALS & MINING

  • A RESOURCE

  • MINING METHODS

  • ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • SUSTAINABILITY


Back to geology rock cycle lithosphere
BACK TO GEOLOGY, ROCK CYCLE, LITHOSPHERE

  • ROCK: “A solid aggregation of minerals.”

  • MINERAL: “Naturally occurring solid chemical element or (inorganic) compound having well-defined crystalline structure, specific composition, and distinct physical properties.”



Eg tantalite
Eg., Tantalite

  • Tantalum, Oxygen, Iron, Manganese

  • Tantalum: electronics

  • Occurs in pegmatite(igneous rock), along with: feldspar, quartz, mica and occasionally gemstones.


Metals are mined from ores
METALS ARE MINED FROM “ORES”

  • ORES: METALS IN MINERAL FORM

  • Copper

  • Iron

  • Lead

  • Gold

  • Aluminum




Minerals and metals are everywhere in our products
Minerals and Metals DEFENSE.....are everywhere in our products


Mining methods
MINING METHODS DEFENSE.....

  • STRIP MINING

  • SUBSURFACE MINING

  • OPEN PIT

  • MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL


Strip mining
STRIP MINING DEFENSE.....

  • EFFICIENT FOR SHALLOW MINERALS

  • REMOVE UPPER LAYERS

  • COMMON FOR COAL

  • ENVIRONMENTALLY DISASTOROUS

    • Severe community disturbance!

    • Erosion!

    • Acid drainage: exposed sulfides + O2 + rainwater = H2SO4

    • Acid promotes heavy metal leaching


Subsurface mining
SUBSURFACE MINING DEFENSE.....

  • TRADITIONAL

  • Zn, Pb, Ni, Sn, Au, Cu, U

  • Diamonds

  • MINERALS DEEP UNDERGROUND

  • DANGEROUS!


August 2010 chile
AUGUST, 2010: CHILE DEFENSE.....



Open pit
OPEN PIT DEFENSE.....

  • MINERALS SPREAD EVENLY

  • SOILS UNSUITABLE FOR TUNNELING

  • DIG GIGANTIC HOLE


One open pit mine
One open pit mine DEFENSE.....

One Utah mine is 2.5 mi across and 0.75 mi deep; almost half a million tons of ore and rock are removed each day


Holes fill with groundwater acid
HOLES FILL WITH GROUNDWATER ----- DEFENSE..... ACID


Mountaintop removal
MOUNTAINTOP DEFENSE.....REMOVAL!!

  • COAL

  • APPALACHIAN MTNS

  • KENTUCKY, WEST VIRGINIA, PENNSYLVANIA


A mining method mountaintop removal
A mining method: mountaintop removal DEFENSE.....

  • Entire mountaintops are blasted off

    • The waste is dumped into valleys

  • For coal in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern U.S.

  • Economically efficient

    • “Valley filling” = dumping rock and debris into valleys

  • Degrades and destroys vast areas

  • Pollutes streams, deforests areas, erosion, mudslides, flash floods

An area the size of Delaware has already been removed


Where does all that rock and soil go
WHERE DOES ALL THAT ROCK AND SOIL GO? DEFENSE.....

  • VALLEY FILLING

  • 2,000 MILES OF STREAMS BURIED


Mining other environmental impacts
MINING: OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS! DEFENSE.....

  • MINE “TAILINGS”

    • Leftover ore after metals extraction

    • Subject to “leaching” of residual heavy metals, extraction chemicals (cyanide/Hg to extract gold, sulfuric acid for copper)

    • Runoff to streams

    • Tailings Ponds: leaching to groundwater

    • WESTERN U.S.!

  • SMELTING: Air toxics pollution

  • WATER, ENERGY!


Smelting
SMELTING DEFENSE.....

  • HEATING ORES BEYOND THEIR M.P. AND COMBINING WITH OTHER METALS/CHEMICALS

  • LEAD SMELTING!


Restoration of mining sites
RESTORATION OF MINING SITES DEFENSE.....

  • “RECLAMATION”

  • ONLY PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE


Laws regulations
LAWS, REGULATIONS DEFENSE.....

  • THE GENERAL MINING ACT OF 1872

  • ALLOWS ANY U.S. CITIZEN OR COMPANY TO STAKE A CLAIM ON ANY PLOT OF PUBLIC LAND OPEN TO MINING.

  • NO PAYMENTS TO PUBLIC REQUIRED.


Sustainable mining
‘SUSTAINABLE MINING’ DEFENSE.....

  • AN OXYMORON ??

  • Oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness”

  • “CLEAN COAL”??


Minerals are non renewable resources
MINERALS ARE NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES DEFENSE.....

  • SUSTAINABILITY HINGES ON RATE OF EXTRACTION

  • DISCOVERY OF NEW RESERVES

    • ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS?!

  • NEW EXTRACTION TECHNOLOGIES

    • ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS?!

  • RECYCLING


  • Years remaining for selected minerals
    Years remaining for selected minerals DEFENSE.....

    • Scarcity increases prices

      • Industries will spend more to reach further deposits


    Recycling
    RECYCLING DEFENSE.....


    Discarded cell phones
    DISCARDED CELL PHONES! DEFENSE.....

    • PAGE 661

    • > $300 MILLION

    • MAJOR SOURCE OF TOXIC METALS FROM LANDFILLS


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