Did you know that copper and gold were the first metals to be discovered by a man back in 5,000 BC? It was a good thing he had made that discovery, or else we wouldn’t have air conditioners or cell phones. Gold and copper are just 2 out of the many metallic minerals that can be found in Canada. They have been used in the production of many goods that we use in our everyday lives. This report will depict how Metallic mineral mining can become a sustainable economic activity to continue its benefits to Canada’s economy.Mining in Sudbury had supposedly started in 1883 when the discovery of a tarnished and colored rock was made by a man named Thomas Flanagan in North-west Sudbury. Yet, people from the great plains were actually the ones who started mining, almost 10,000 years ago. These people were referred to Plano people, as “Plano” is the Latin word for flat. Materials that were mined were used to create tools and weapons. Copper and silver were soon discovered and were used to make jewelry.Trades routes started operating, with copper, silver and other minerals being exchanged.In 1887, a man by the name of Henry Ranger had started the vermillion gold mine, after he discovered gold. This gold mine also contained minerals such as nickel, copper, and silver.Today, minerals are mainly found in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The location of many minerals in Canada can be located in the Canadian Shield- specifically in metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks. The mining industry in Canada has its effects on its economy. Canada produces over 60 of metallic minerals, These include gold, silver , copper , zinc , lead , nickel as well many more. As a result, the country ranks second worldwide for mineral exports. In 2015 alone, Canada’s mining industry had a value of $42.8 billion. Only a year later, the value of metallic mining was $23.2 billion. Metallic minerals are used to produce beneficial goods that we may use in our everyday lives. The production of these goods is what helps Canada’s economy grow.People make a living off this by starting a business which is supported by the sale of these goods. Aluminium, for example, is used to make products like cars, utensils, and refrigerators. Silver is used to making products like batteries and jewelry, while copper is used for wiring, heating systems and motors. Mineral mining also supports the economy, as employment is created. In 2016, 64,749 jobs were created in the metal manufacturing industry. 2 examples of jobs in the metallic mining industry would be a geologist and a mining engineer. A geologist locates mineral ores and makes decisions on where the best places to mine are. A mining engineer determines the methods to extract minerals, as well as devise methods to transport the minerals.Federal, Municipal and provincial governments also get paid royalties by the mining producers. The government had been paid a total of $71 billion in royalties between the years of 2003 and 2012.Mining of metallic minerals shows great importance to Canada’s economy, but how do we exploit these resourcesThere are many methods to extract metallic mining, one being strip mining. Strip mining is sometimes referred to as “surface mining”, and is the cheapest method of mining. This method is often used when the mineral ore is located close to the surface.The process starts when layers of rock, sand, soil, and vegetation are removed from the surface. The materials that are being removed are referred to as “overburden materials”. Holes are drilled into rocks that lay above the mineral deposit and are filled with a variety of explosives. This process is called “blasting”. In some cases, blasting is not needed if the mineral deposit is easy to access. The name of strip mining comes from how the process is done- in strips.Miners remove the top layer of waste and place it on the previous strip. This is done continuously until every part of the mined land is reclaimed. Valuable minerals such as gold and silver are not retrieved as a result of strip mining, but rather oil sands, gravel, coal and in some cases, iron and copper. Although Strip mining may seem like a safe and harmless method of mining, there are, as a matter of fact, many negative disadvantages that come with it.Strip mining is the most destructive method of mining, as it causes the destruction of earth as well causes pollution in water. Strip mining removes trees, plants, vegetation, and topsoil. As a result, soil erosion may occur and agricultural land may be lost. The removal of the rich topsoil may make it difficult for any trees to grow. Strip mining may also cause damage to various landscapes, terrestrial/wetland habitats as well as wildlife.Wildlife specifically living in the water get highly affected when overburden materials pollute the water. Another negative impact of strip mining is that it contaminates water bodies. Topsoil may be washed away by rain, traveling into waterways. This may injure organisms that live there, as well as kill plants that are located downstream. Topsoil may also block numerous water pathways and channels, which could result in the flooding of an area. If pathways and channels are blocked, it would mean water wouldn’t be able to pass through to downstream rivers, resulting in the drying up. In addition to that, heavy machinery used in the process of strip mining may create a lot of noise, disturbing people who live near the area, Though Strip mining may have its negative impacts, there are many ways to lessen the damage done.There are various ways we can lessen the impact of strip mining on the environment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the resource. One way could be to develop better reclamation and closure plans. Back in the 70’s, strip mines were often left without being properly shut down or reclaimed. These mines may not be safe, as environmental hazards are not addressed. Reclamation plans involve studying the area’s geology, wildlife, and water. Closure plans include 4 steps: Shutting down and decommission – this consists of the shutting down of equipment used during the process, as well as removal of waste. Reclamation and post closure-this includes restoring and shaping the land as much as possible.Long-term maintenance may be given to ensure that nothing else needs to be done. Stronger plans can ensure the land is restored as much as possible and leaves less of a negative impact behind. Another way we could lessen the impact is to use less of it. If we reuse recycled items more often, we may be able to reduce the amount of strip mining that is done, as well as the number of minerals used up. There are many ways to reduce the waste left behind in strip mines, that pollute the water. We can use cleaner production techniques, as well as use waste as raw materials. Cleaner production techniques are essential processes in which are used to reduce environmental impacts, that mining may cause.Techniques include various changes to following factors: technology, operating methods and waste management.Strip mining is a method used in Canada to exploit metallic minerals. The mining of Metallic minerals has benefited the growth of Canada’s economy. It allows employment as well as the production of many goods and . Although it may inexpensive compared to other methods of mining, it results in the destruction of earth’s land as well as water pollution. Mining has benefited the growth of Canada’s economy, and in order for us to ensure its long term stability, we must act fast to reduce the impacts it leaves on mother earth.
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