By: Manal Amir
History of Mining Industry in Canada
About 40,000 years ago, the Aboriginal inhabitants of the west hemisphere used to produce tools from various mineral that were needed for their survival. Many years later, the early settlers started using bricks, stones, clay, and gravel to build communities. However, minerals have been used for many other things not just for survival. They started to be identified as valuable resources and Canadian prospectors were always in a search of such resources. As the discovery of mining industry happened, Canadians started to dream of better lives.
International Trade In Mining
The mining sector in Canada is a major exporter which involves inward and outward investments. Mineral and metal products are important to countries with large and growing infrastructure. Places like India, China, and countries in Latin America are very important to Canada's trade.
In the past miners used tools for digging and they used to dug out shafts by hand. This process was very time taking and so eventually miners started using fire clear the tunnels and go deeper. Then they began using explosives to break up large rocks as mining tools such as drills were not invented at this time. As the industrial revolution began, slowly, new equipment such as lifts and drills were introduced. Today, the society is very advanced and the mining industry is always being introduced to new technologies. Equipment like, machines that are used for grinding and crushing for extraction of minerals made it easier for the miners. Also, new surface mining techniques that are introduced, allows the miners to extract over 85 percent of minerals without digging by hand or putting their lives at risk. Heavy machinery like trucks and bulldozers are used to dig deep into the earth, however, changes in technology allows the workers to do their work with more ease, accuracy and without harming the surroundings. As the introduction of new technologies to the mining industry continues, the workers will be able to do their work with much more accuracy and these changes might even end any type of hand involvement of the miners.
In Canada there is a competition in the global market for manufacturing of mining equipment as it is very rich in natural resources and their extraction has an environmental focus in machinery. The manufacturers usually prefer to renew the old machinery and change the power systems.
New Attitudes and Trends
Many environmentally harmful incidents happen in the mining sector such as mining operations, accidental spills, and the release of hazardous materials . The mines and the miners have to be prepared for such incidents so that the environmental impacts can be avoided. Mining companies are required to make cleanup procedures and prepare spill control. Many different things can be done such as soil treatment, water treatment, preventing acid rock drainage and controlling smelter emissions.
Miners face many health dangers daily by working in an area that is always surrounded by dust, which can accumulate in the lungs that can cause pneumoconiosis. Also, there are hazardous gases such as radon, which is a radioactive odorless gas and the exposure of it can cause cancer. Moreover, there are many loud noises that can lead to hearing loss, speech interference and eardrum rupture. Miners have a very high chance of dying from explosions and other accidents. The mining industry is ranked as the most dangerous industry to work in.