The Effects of Mining on Environment


Human activity is one of the most helpful and the most harmful on the Earth. People all over the world direct their activities of the enhancement of their lives, on making it easier and happier. At the same time, the irreversible effect is produced on the environment and people, understanding it still continues their harmful activities. Coal is one of the main manufactures of the energy in the world, so it is impossible to refuse its production, but the harmful effects increase from day today. There are three main causes of mining environments, such as disturbing groundwater aquifers, the effects of mined materials, and climate change.

Main Body

Disturbing of groundwater aquifers is a problem that usually considers being not so serious, but the consequences of mining connected with underground waters are dangerous. The effect from groundwater aquifers disturbance takes place because of underground mining. The core problem is the water pollution, which may occur because of the water seeping through the mines and mine tailings. The biggest danger introduces pyrite, FeS2, which is the most dangerous element for people. The water, which comes through the mentioned element, becomes polluted and people still use this water without even guessing the real danger (Manahan 432). The other consequence for the disturbing of groundwater aquifers because of mining activity is the possibility to fill the mine and to ruin the barriers, which may lead to numerous damages, such as caving in the place of submerging. The most dangerous aspect of the affair is that all is provided under the water and there is not always the possibility to see the problem in time and decide it (in the cases of closed mines or in the condition of reconstruction). The only solution to the problem, which may be offered, is the more attentive attitude to the closed and functioning mines and the in-time reaction to the problem.

Considering mining, not only coal should be taken into account, and not only coal mined materials. The effects of mined materials are rather harmful. Considering the situation two mined materials will be considered, coal ores and uranium ores. The coal ores are the smallest part of the coal, but the whole coal layer should be excavated with the aim to take up the smallest part of it. The further actions are provided with the aim of the beneficiation of ore, the result of which is leaving a residue of tailings. The example, which may be offered according to the discussed problem is that residue of tailings, which were left, are usually filled with pyrite, “which is oxidized microbiologically and chemically to produce damaging acidic drainage (acid mine water)” (Manahan 432). Considering the Uranium tailings’ impact on the environment, it is crucial to mention that Uranium tailings, left from the Uranium ores producing, are radioactivity-containing, and their impact on environment is great. The highest damage is given to the geological part of the environment, as the processes are provided on the chemical level (Gieré and Stille 26). The advised solution is to increase the level and number of refining factories, which is not always possible.

The third reason why mining results the environmental pollution is the climate change. It is not a secret that every manufacturing is harmful to the surrounding nature. The harmful elimination of dust and other products of coal refining leads to the pollution of the air. The increase of carbon dioxide emissions is so great, that in the areas where the mining manufacturings flourish, people are amenable to different kinds of diseases. Considering the effect of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions on environment, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the greenhouse effect, which is direct consequence of the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere (Manahan 528). The greenhouse effect is one of the main reasons why climate changes all over the world occur, and the effects of the climate change have been discussed many times. The whole planet is in danger, in spite of the fact that h real consequences of climate change are not proved yet. The solution to the problem may be the build of the purifying factories in the areas of the increased level of mines and the enterprises which pollute air.


In conclusion, mining industry is one of the most dangerous industries for the environment, as the way coal is produced and the techniques of its processing are rather harmful to the environment. Climate change, disturbing groundwater aquifers, and the effects from mined materials are not the only consequences, which occur while coal manufacturing. There are a lot of solutions that may be offered in reference to increase environmental protection from the effects, which mining provides. The building of different purifying factories, the increase of control under the sphere in general and the regions, which are in the most danger because of the high rate of the mines, are the main actions which the government of any country should provide.

Works Cited

Gieré, R. and Peter Stille. Energy, Waste and the Environment: A Geochemical Perspective. Bath: Geological Society, 2004.

Manahan, Stanley E. Environmental chemistry. New York: CRC Press, 2005.

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