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Open-Pit Mining, Its Risks and Opportunities: Essay

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An open-pit mine is to quarry or cut made at the surface of the ground for the purpose of extracting ore and which is open to the surface having it a large open pit. To expose and mine the ore, it is generally required to dig and relocate large amounts of waste rock.

The environmental impact is one of the most important things because the mining process can have the most harm that affects our environment, which hurts humanity's liveability for a healthy lifestyle. Mining can cause the air, for example, having dust from waste work and tailings or processing without flue gas filters damages the oxygen we breathe and even can be death damaging to the lungs of the people on the mine site. Many effects of air pollution can create acidic rain, which is threatening to sky with many other disasters. The land space that miners work on can actually be really destructive to the ground with various things that could go absolutely wrong. Soil is a major thing and is one of the easiest to spread, for example having a pipe leakage or overtopping of tailings of the dam. It’s dangerous to the soil and plants that might be near the site, making the ground radioactive so it could be life-threatening to people who live close by. A similar effect with the land affects the water is a big thing because the impact can run through the soil to go into the surface water or groundwater. An example that the water can be harmed is by processing without wastewater treatment or pipe leakage. The environment would suffer especially growing plants nearby or animal life having their habitat restricted in the surrounding area. Open mines affect the herbal and animal life instantly with examples like clear-cutting trees and grasslands contributing to biodiversity loss, habitat loss, carbon emissions, and erosion. Mining procedures have taken this damage into account more and more in recent years, including strategies to re-establish and regrow natural habitats once mining is finalized. Therefore, the environment has a big impact on all the harmful things it could do to destroy the area.

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Environmental staff are employed at mines to continually plan, undertake and monitor the rehabilitation of mine sites to reduce and manage the impacts of mining. Environmental management plans are drawn up before mining commences and suggestions for land use after mining is finished. Open-mined areas may be restored to areas that can be used for recreation, farming, or simply native vegetation. During the rehabilitation process, waste rock may be shaped to blend in with its surroundings. It is then covered with soil and replanted with vegetation. Environmental officers are required to carry out detailed animal habitat and plant studies before, during, and after mining operations. During exploration and the life of the mine, habitats for these species need to be preserved and care is taken to prevent the introduction of weeds or feral animals that could damage native species. Two scientific experts who help with the rehabilitation of the mine site are geologists and hydrologists. A geologist would need to put in monitoring wells at the point of compliance to assess any acid plume that might form in the subsurface and for groundwater monitoring for toxic metal migration mobilized by a low pH environment usually associated with strip mine waters. A hydrologist would be engaged with the modeling of the groundwater movement to determine the risk of mine drainage from the site. Either they or a geologist versed in fluvial systems would need to develop a model of subsurface stream flow so that predictions for future runoff and groundwater flow could be made.

Mining in society can have a positive effect or a negative effect, when the positive impacts such as employment and community development projects are important, they do not-set the potential negatives. Mining can affect negatively society by affecting the people who live in nearby communities, which can force them from their homes and land, making it not family-friendly for the families or locals.

In conclusion, even though there are many positive outcomes like job opportunities, that is over-weighted by the impact of mining is very dangerous that affects the environment and the locals and in community. When scientific experts are trying to reduce the harm that it can cause instead of polluting the air, water, and land, and hurting the biodiversity. Therefore, open-pit mining is a very destructive practice.

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Open-Pit Mining, Its Risks and Opportunities: Essay. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from
“Open-Pit Mining, Its Risks and Opportunities: Essay.” Edubirdie, 21 Nov. 2023,
Open-Pit Mining, Its Risks and Opportunities: Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Mar. 2024].
Open-Pit Mining, Its Risks and Opportunities: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Nov 21 [cited 2024 Mar 3]. Available from:
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