ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources Impact of mining on the environment
- Deforestation and erosion as large areas are cleared when surface methods of mining are used.
- Frequency of open quarries, trenches and pits may cause land degradation.
- Infrastructure development which include the construction of roads, railway lines and processing plants.
- Air pollution from processing/crashing of ores, and use of coal for example smelting of iron ore as well as dust from the dumps and slime dams.
- As asbestos dust cause cancer and other forms of chest disorders such as asbestosis.
- Water flowing from dumps can contaminate drinking water supplies for example dumps containing cyanide from gold processing.
- An example is the How Mine accident where seven miners lost their lives
- Large areas of waste land.
- Blasting causes structural damage to building and surface subsidence in areas of worked out seams.
- Noise pollution from blasting and processing.
- Lowering of the water table due to excessive pumping of ground water.
- Soil erosion and siltation of rivers from unstable dumps, gold panning.
- Land pollution from mine dumps.
To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page