MINING AND WATER POLLUTION
While there have been improvements to mining practices in recent years, significant
environmental risks remain. Negative impacts can vary from the sedimentation caused by poorly built roads during exploration through to the sediment, and disturbance of water during mine construction. Water pollution from mine waste rock and tailings may need to be managed for decades, if not centuries, after closure. These impacts depend on a variety of factors, such as the sensitivity of local terrain, the composition of minerals being mined, the type of technology employed, the skill, knowledge and environmental commitment of the company, and finally, our ability to monitor and enforce compliance with environmental regulations. One of the problems is that mining has become more mechanized and therefore able to handle more rock and ore material than ever before. Therefore, mine waste has multiplied enormously. As mine technologies are developed to make it more profitable to mine low grade ore, even more waste will be generated in the future.
Types of Water Pollution from Mining
There are four main types of mining impacts on water quality.
1. Acid Mine Drainage
2. Heavy Metal Contamination & Leaching
3. Processing Chemicals Pollution
4. Erosion and Sedimentation
Source: Mining and Water Pollution
The Dark Side of Metal Mining
Metals cannot be farmed, or made artificially, so they have to be extracted from the earth. Only a few can be found on the surface of the earth, such as gold nuggets on river beds. These are collected by placing obstacles in the path of the flowing water, and sorting through the trapped deposits for gold (or tin or platinum) nuggets. This form of mining is called placer mining.
Most other metals (in the form of ores) must be dug out of the earth. Some deposits are close to the surface, and are mined by methods like strip mining and open cast mining. In both of these cases, the soil and rock over the metal deposits are removed with large shovels. The ore is carried away to factories for smelting and extraction of pure metal. Open-cast mines can be very big. For example, the open cast copper mine in Bingham, Utah is wider than 35 football fields and about 900 meters deep.
When the metal deposits are deep below the surface of the earth, vertical or sloping shafts are dug into the ground. Water and other materials are removed from the shaft. Then, miners go down into the shaft and break off metal ores from the walls surrounding the shaft using hand-held tools. The ores are transported up using mechanical equipment.
Source: The Dark Side of Metal Mining
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Landslide, mining accident in copper-gold mine
in Kingking Village, Pantukan, Compostela Valley, Mindanao, Philippines
28 APRIL 2011
Mining-related landslides in the Philippines
Posted by dr-dave
A key human cause of landslides around the world is mining. This problem is exacerbated in areas in which mining activities are uncontrolled and unregulated, a particular issue in many less developed countries. In recent months there has been a spate of mining-related accidents in Mindanao in the Philippines. Many such landslides probably go unreported, but for 2011 my database includes the following events:
11/03/2011 Pantukan town, Campostella Valley
1 fatality 5 injuries
30/03/2011 T’boli town , South Cotabato province, Mindanao
3 fatalities 2 injuries
02/04/2011 Tampakan area, Mindanao
4 fatalities 2 injuries
22/04/2011 Kingking villag, Pantukan, Mindanao
24 fatalities 13 injuries
Source: Mining-related landslides in the Philippines
American Mining Company Will Stop Operation in the Philippines
April 11th, 2011 – Posted in Mining News
A US mining company, Russell Mining and Minerals Inc. confirmed that it won’t buck the decision of the Philippine government to stop its operation as what has been posted in sunstar.com.
Source: American Mining Company Will Stop Operation in the Philippines
Landslide in Philippine mining area kills 27
MANILA | Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:51pm BST
(Reuters) – A landslide caused by heavy rains buried shanty houses in a mining area on a southern Philippine island, killing at least 27 and leaving dozens of people missing, local disaster and security forces officials said Friday.
The landslide hit before dawn in Kingking village on the southern island of Mindanao, burying people under mud, rocks and rubble, said Liza Mazo, head of the regional disaster agency.
Source: Landslide in Philippine mining area kills 27
Hopes fade for 21 buried in Philippine landslide
By OLIVER TEVES – Associated Press | AP – Sat, Apr 23, 2011
Filipino rescuers who dug by hand to save people buried by a landslide were losing hope of finding 21 still missing in the disaster that killed at least three people in a remote gold mining village, officials said Saturday.
Source: Hopes fade for 21 buried in Philippine landslide
Rains cause landslides, mine tunnel collapse up north
Philippine Daily Inquirer
9:20 pm | Saturday, May 28th, 2011
TUBA, Benguet, Philippines—A heavy downpour ushering the start of the rainy season caused a pocket mine tunnel in Barangay Camp 4 here to collapse on Friday, killing a small-scale miner and injuring two of his companions, reports from the Office of Civil Defense in the Cordillera showed.
Source: Rains cause landslides, mine tunnel collapse up north
3 killed in Benguet mine cave-in
Posted at 03/31/2010 3:38 PM | Updated as of 03/31/2010 3:38 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Three miners were killed in a mining accident in Luneta village, Itogon, Benguet Tuesday night, officials said.
John Latungan, vice-president of Luneta Miners Association, identified two of the fatalities as Rudy Petra Corta Gilles, 40; and Edgar Sucalo, 36. The name of the third miner has been withheld until his immediate family has been notified.
He said at least 20 miners were working in the mine in groups starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. He said only 6 miners were at the bottom of the 80-foot mine when it caved in before midnight.
Three of the miners were rescued while the rest died.
Source: 3 killed in Benguet mine cave-in
Rescuers hope for more survivors in Philippines mining accident
Oct 29, 2005, 11:42 GMT
Manila – Rescuers on Saturday pumped fresh air into a collapsed gold-mine tunnel in the southern Philippines in an effort to keep trapped miners alive two days after the accident.
While mining company JB Mining Corporation says the accident left seven miners trapped and at least 11 dead, local officials and the Civil Defence authorities have reported 18 dead and about 50 still trapped in the tunnel filled with toxic fumes.
Source. Rescuers hope for more survivors in Philippines mining accident
Cave-In Kills 24 Miners
April 09, 1988
MANILA — A cave-in caused by heavy rain killed 24 gold miners in the southern Philippines, a military report said on Friday. It said soldiers recovered the miners’ bodies a day after the landslide Monday at Mt. Baliling in Davao Oriental province.
Source: Cave-In Kills 24 Miners