Evironmental effects of gold mining

Essay by jrowlandHigh School, 11th gradeA, September 2006

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

Since gold mining began in the 1850's it has changed a lot due to new technologies and techniques. These new techniques have generally increased productivity however the negative effects on the environment have also increased. Some of the major effects include noise pollution, air pollution, subsidence, vibrations caused from explosions and visual pollution. However most of these problems do have solutions, not necessary getting rid of the problem but definitely minimising it.

Noise pollution is another major environmental issue which is caused by gold mining. The noise is produced by heavy machinery, wind, blasting of rock and other loud happenings. However there are a lot of solutions to help keep the noise at a preferable level. The machinery and equipment need to be kept maintained and the mufflers in peak condition. Noise bunds are an effective way in reducing the noise levels. Other effective techniques include fitting acoustic cladding around potentially noisy machinery, erecting acoustic noise wall around some sections of the perimeter and ensuring workers wear correct earmuffs.

The Martha Mine in Waihi set different noise limits for different times of the day. The noise levels are regularly monitored to ensure they do not exceed these limits. They have also installed acoustic cladding and erected bunds around the mining site.

Air pollution is a major problem in the gold mining industry. The main reason for this is the amount of dust that the mines produce. Dust is generated from many different things in the mine including vehicle exhaust and soil which is light enough to be carried by the wind. The stronger the wind the larger the particles are which get blown by the wind to near by urban areas. The most effective solution to this is to sprinkle potential places where the dust can be blown with water...