Types of Mining

By: Michelle and Barry

Surface Mining

What is it?

Surface mining is when soil and rock over the mineral deposit is stripped away.

This Includes: strip mining, open-pit mining, and mountaintop removal mining.

Effects on the Environment:

Surface mining can leave behind open areas of waste and bare land with little plants and life. This type of mining causes loss of ecosystems and kills many animals in the process and removing the top layer of rock and soil. Workers health is often at risk and become sick from exposure to sludge near the site.

Differences:

Surface mining is where all of the rock and soil is removed to get straight to the mineral deposit. The materials is stripped away.

Subsurface MIning

What is it?

When tunnels and shafts are dug out into the earth to reach deposits that are under the surface. Waste rock is brought to the surface through the tunnels and shafts.

This includes: Drift mining, slope mining, and shaft mining.

Effects on the Environment:

This causes erosion, sinkholes, and polluted soil that effects ground water. Forests are often cleared destroying the wildlife and ecosystems that once lived there.

Differences:

Subsurface mining is mining from the inside underneath all of the rock and soil. The materials mined are brought to the surface by a series of tunnels and shafts.

Fracking

Process of drilling to the earth with high pressure water to release gas inside. This lets natural gas come out of the top of the tower and breaks rocks.

Effects on the Environment:

Uses 72 trillion gallons of water with over 300 billion chemicals. Methane gasses and toxins are released into the water polluting our ground water. The methane concentration is over 10x more concentrated in wells nearby these fracking sites. Only 30-50% of the fluid can be recovered the rest is in the ground, intoxicating the soil. Which results in no plant life or clean water.

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