Pollution Caused by Mining
The mining operations that are done in order to purify gold can cause atmospheric discharges of heavy metals, suspended particulates as well as sulphates, and cyanides. The mining industry in addition and in most cases uses up a substantial quantity of water so as to process ore. In the case of gold mining, something like 2.3 m3 of water is utilized per tonne of crude ore processed. The pollutants that can be found in mining effluents take account of suspended solids and a variety of heavy metals from the gangue. One kind of pollution that is predominantly dangerous is acid mine drainage. Acid runoff that is caused by the mining of deposits that have sulphide minerals is one of the most serious long term environmental problems, and the gold sector is mainly affected. Exposure of sulphide minerals to the air and humidity results in oxidation, and this ends up in the development of sulphuric acid, and this problem can carry out for a many number of years. The process is sped up by the company of naturally occurring bacteria, which catalyse the effect by oxidizing the iron sulphides and essential sulphur. Acid mine drainage is the consequence of an intricate set of chemical and microbial reactions that need the occurrence of oxygen. Microbial oxidation of fundamental sulphur in addition causes sulphuric acid. Very acidic water solubilizes heavy metals. although acid mine drainage does not cause a straight danger to public health, solubilization of a variety of heavy metals such as aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc, allows them to find their way into streams and rivers. On the other hand, avoidance of acid mine drainage can be carried out and has to do with the subsequent ethics: acidification cannot occur in the absence of oxygen. Action needs to be done right away given that once the reaction starts it is very hard to control and stop it. In mining there are certain things that can be done in order to prevent this from occurring and this includes covering tailings with impermeable layers, covering the tailings with materials that get rid of the oxygen, one other method is by submerging tailings in a deep layer of water so as to avoid oxygen from diffusing.