Mining in South Africa

By Ivan Lin

The Problem and Situation of Mining.

You all know mining. It is a hard profession that involves digging for precious minerals to be used as materials for something else. This profession needs many workers, and sometimes the workers can get into accidents and injure themselves, or there are just not enough miners. Mining has been gone for many years and now it is starting to return as a hope of trying to bring back economically depressed cities and areas. The main objective is to grow economically, and to find new jobs. The problem is mining can have a serious affect on our environment and the miners who work at these mines. The problem we are talking about in this flyer is if mining should return for the economic values and pay for the negative consequences, or if mining should go back to it's normal state, where there is not much of it. The source of this image is from Royalty Free Stock Photos.

The Positive Effects of Mining

The opening of mines can help create more jobs for the local residents in areas where there is not many businesses. A lot of jobs are open for new miners. Over 75% of jobs are given to local residents. In a new mine there can be up to 700 new jobs. The source of the image is from custom staffing services.

The Bad Consequences of Mining

I will list 3 bad consequences of mining. From the article Mining Boom in Michigan by Richard Mertens there are 2 consequences. First is mining pollution can enter resources such as water, and others, so that the resources that local residents depend on, are contaminated/ poisoned with deadly metallic particles from mining. With the contaminated resources people will have less resources to depend on to live. If the people also use these polluted, poisoned resources, the people will also be poisoned, and will have to take medications, which could counter all the economic growth that was originally gained from the prospect of mining. This image is from the source

The Bad Consequences of Mining.

Also, from the source Mining Boom in Michigan by Richard Mertens, a second consequence is mining laws that were used to protect the local residents from the effects of mining are no longer as protective as before, when mining was gone for a period of time. This means towns can get bankrupt trying to afford to pay for protection from mining for the miners and the residents of a town, that work in/with a nearby mine. So instead of economic increase, there is economic decrease. The source of this image is from Agriculture law.

The Bad Consequences of Mining

Finally, the last consequence is from the article Mining in South Africa. Miners die or get injured in mines because of risks of terrible diseases, or accidents in the mines. Miners work in dangerous conditions, digging deep underground as a profession. Mining deep underground can be every dangerous considering the amount of earth above you is heavy enough to crush you in a instant if the land in not stable. This means if a town succeeds in economically growing because of mining activities, some mine workers will die, decreasing the population. The mines are very dangerous to the workers. No amount of money can bring back lives or pay for the price of them. This image came from the source Cosmos: The Science of Everything.

So therefore: Are the negative consequences worth the economic growth of a town?

I believe no. There is to many bad consequences compared to the effects of the good consequences. A town will lose to much and might be even more economically depressed. The economic growth of a town is not worth the negative consequences of mining.

A Possible Solution?

Using this possible solution, we may still have a possibility of bringing back economic depressed towns, with no environmental or social impacts to the society.

The Solution to the Negative Effects

I think the solution should be that if mining should return to economically depressed cities, that mining sites be in areas that are nowhere near resources that local residents use, like water, and also the land being mined on, must be stable.Stable land will cause less injuries and accidents from the mine collapses and dangerous conditions that unstable land would give. With far away resources, no mine pollution will contaminate the water. Mine workers and residents will be healthier and safer with these new regulations. If accidents occur in the mining process, the mining industries will pay for the workers health care. Every worker is eligible for good healthcare when there is a accident. New laws from the government and must protect from all consequences of mining, for residents and workers. Workers are to get more pay for their hard work, and are to work in better, safer mining conditions to keep them safe. In this way economically depressed cities can rebuild themselves without the cost of other.

The Conclusion

I believe that if mining stays the same with the negative effects of miners getting diseases and getting into accidents, mine polluted water and other resources, and also non protective laws that can bankrupt towns, that the economic growth that a town can get from mining is not worth the negative effects of mining. If ground is stable, mining will not be as dangerous as in unstable land keeping workers safe from accidents and diseases underground. If mining is kept away from important resources, people will be able to use them without getting sick, and if new laws are created to protect from the negative effects of mining, then towns won't get bankrupt trying to get protection. Using this solution, mining might just be worth the economic growth of a town.