Types of Mining and Fracking

Surface mining

  • Surface mining is when soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed, mining of resources near the surface.

  • Strip mining is the removal of soil and rock that’s lying on the top of the Earth's surface.

  • Open pit mining is the extracting of rock and minerals from the Earth by their removal from an open pit.

  • Mountaintop mining is the mining of the summit of a mountain.


Subsurface

  • Subsurface mining extracts minerals and resources from underneath the Earth’s surface.

  • Slope mining uses a shaft that is dug on a slant, which uses a conveyor belt system to transport the resources up to the surface

  • Drift mining uses a horizontal passage cut from the side of a mountain or hill. It is the most economic method of mining because gravity helps pull the material out of the mine.

  • Shaft mining uses a vertically drilled passageway and horizontal drifts or levels and an “elevator” to pull the workers, equipment, and minerals out of the shaft.

Environmental Impacts

  • Destruction of habitats
  • Deforestation
  • Waste/pollution
  • Acid/ chemical contamination
  • Subsidence
  • Noise
  • Strip mining causes loss of top soil
  • Open pit mining is not stable and cannot be maintained
  • Erosion

Fracking

What is it?
  • Also known as hydraulic fracturing
  • Fracking is the process of drilling underground at high pressure in order to release natural gases inside rocks
  • Fracking fluid containing hundreds of chemicals is injected into the ground. When it reaches the bottom of the well, the high pressure cause the rocks crack and release natural gas

Environmental Impacts

  • Air contamination
  • Releases Methane and toxins
  • Contaminates drinking water
  • Brain, sense and breathing problems from drinking contaminated water
  • Volatile organic compounds cause acid rain, air contamination and ground-level ozone
  • 50-70% of the non-biodegradable, toxic fluid is left underground
Fracking explained: opportunity or danger