Environmental concerns due to Heavy Mineral Mining
The process of heavy mineral mining begins with extracting mineral rich sand from the sea shores and transporting it to a processing plant. In India this extraction is done manually using hand tools. Although, in heavy mineral mining you need to extract sand from the shores, it does not lead to any depreciation of land, because the sand after the extracting the minerals is transported back to the shores and filled in the places where mining is conducted. Sustainable methods of mining ensure that there is no environmental harm is caused due to this activity. If the right care is taken, the entire process can be pollution free and cause very less or no harm to the people living near the mining areas. Activities mentioned below can be undertaken in support of environmental sustainability while mining: â€˘ Sprinklers at mining sites minimize the spread of red dust in the atmosphere.
• Reclamation and rehabilitation of dormant mines can be done through afforestation and other techniques. • Recycled water from mines can be supplied to nearby villages for secondary use. • Mechanised road sweepers can clean up the surroundings on mining routes. Before we criticize the mining process as an unyielding and environmentally destructive process, it is important to note the current situation of mining, and how it is more beneficial than harmful. It’s certain that mining does have drawbacks that affect the surroundings, however, it there are various sustainable activities that can help in reducing these drawbacks. Besides, mining is site specific, which means, the minerals can be mined only where they are present. Also, the places where mining takes place is beneficial in terms of development of roads, and basic amenities like health, education, sanitation. In many regions, minerals are located in under developed tribal areas. Unless mining is undertaken here, growth and development will not take place and the living conditions of people won’t change. It should be noted that minerals are a finite, non-renewable resource. Mining is therefore a temporary activity till the resource is exhausted. The impact of mining on the environment is a temporary phenomenon, which can be minimised via sustainable mining. Once mining ceases in an area, the land can be quickly rehabilitated and returned to its pre-mining state. VV Mineral, India, which is based in Tamil Nadu and established in 1989, is an environment-friendly organization which has taken various steps over the years to conserve water through smart usage of water in its operations. Being a water conscious company, VVM does not use fresh water in mining process and does not use chemicals in its concentration plants. Due to its continued efforts, VVM is already saving more than 1.2 million KL water every year. They also use wind mills to generate power. It is family grown business started by Mr. S Vaikundarajan, Chairman of VV Group of companies. They have an annual output of 12,000 Metric Tons of Zircon. V.V. Mineral has been awarded as the ‘Number One Garnet Exporters’ of our country. They manufacture and export heavy minerals such as Garnet, Rutile and Ilmenite.
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