Mining for Solutions

Technological advances have helped mining go faster and safer for miners. The advances that have helped in making mining faster was using pressurized water and being able to mine hard rock. In order to make mining safer, engineers have found ways to pump out water when the mines flood and able to send surface air into the mines to help cool down the tunnels. With these advancements, lots of consequences started to appear. Hydraulic mining led to increased soil erosion that effected farmland and waterways. Hard rock mining, or lode mining, most significant problem was unstable foundation.

For mining, I believe that the environment should be the number one thing to keep in mind. I feel like that if we destroy the environment, then we do not have a place to live or survive. One mine that I think of when it comes to thinking about the environment is the Smith River Mine. When I was in my mineralogy class here at MSU, we visited the Smith River Mine and looked at their rock samples. Because of all of the paperwork that mines have to submit, the Smith River did even more testing. They measure water quality for a lot longer than needed to determine how much the watershed could be affected. They also looked at how to take care of the waste without impacting the environment as well. This mine goes above and beyond what is necessary for any mine to do. I believe that all mines were as strict and environmentally conscious, then we should not have as many future issues concerning the environment. With that in mind, humanity can focus on how to fix the issues from the past mining.

LeCain, T. Between the Heavens and the Earth

1 thought on “Mining for Solutions”

  1. It is important to remember that other technologies helped advance mining, like the technology of breathing apparatuses that allowed miners underground in potentially harmful environments. While it protected their breathing it may have had potentially harmful long term affects that were not known about back then. The other side of this is the detrimental affects that pressure mining had on the environment, something that seems almost impossible to recover from due to the destruction of sides of mountains and hills. All these new technologies alongside the ones already in use also caused a to of pollution in the area, still visible today.
    I like that you brought in the smith river as an example because it is relevant today and a potential harm to the environment once again. It is necessary for all possibilities to be considered and have plans for anything that may go wrong in these situations.
    I like your post and thanks for sharing your insight you have gained from another class.

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