Subsurface Mining Environmental Impact

Surface mining, a process that is mainly used for the mining of rocks, diamonds, metal ores, and other resources. Subsurface mining is beyond your thinking, and it involves usage of the vertical shafts and elevators, which are very beneficial in underground mining. Besides this, there are many things to know about subsurface mining, its impact, and other essential things. Today, here we will discuss all the subsurface mining, its effects and other important things. So, let’s have a look at the information below:

What is subsurface mining?

Before understanding the impact of subsurface mining on the environment, you must have information about the subsurface mining definition. Surface mining is the process of extracting minerals from the surface of the earth and some of the most common types of surface mining are pit mining, quarrying, and strip mining.

Different types of subsurface mining

Do you know that are many types of subsurface mining. If no, then you should have a look at those types:

  • Strip Mining
  • Open-Pit Mining
  • Mountaintop Removal
  • Dredging
  • Highwall Mining

Impact of subsurface mining on environment

After understanding all about subsurface mining, you must know its impact on the environment. If you want to know more about it, you must check out below information

Change PH level of water and soil

Subsurface mining produces a significant impact on the environment in terms of the leading acid drainage. To perform the subsurface mining methods, the team has to use a large amount of water which they all get from underground. They all use that for clearing system of tunnels and even mine shafts. The water that goes inside the surface is more acidic, and it also changes the Ph levels of soil and water.

Harmful for the aquatic animals

In few mining operations done in Mexico and California, they show a significant impact on the aquatic life as it all affects the PH levels of water, which directly made fishes and other marine animals die.

Wastage of land

The area of the land where the mining operation is done made the land get wasted. There are many examples of all such sites, where there are no possibilities of farming, and even humans cannot live in such areas. Even though, people of the regions are forced to leave from their native place to perform the subsurface mining process.

Impact quality of air

As in the subsurface mining process, many rocks are destroyed, crushed, or moved from one place to the other. It all increases the amount of dust within the air which directly harms the quality of air. Besides this, there are many toxic wastes, which gets mixed to the environment and it make it worse for living.

Not suitable for human health

Mining can cause many harmful effects on the human body as per recent studies. It has been observed that mining can create human diseases and even causes health problems related to the mortality. The death rate among the mining area is relatively high as compared to the other areas, and even the health problem related to the cancer is also quite common at those places.

Not good for wildlife

As the process of mining or whether it is subsurface coal mining or any other, it involves the usage of heavy-load equipment, which make the wildlife dislocate from their location and even leads to the death of various animals. Animals also died after drinking the contaminated water. Recently around 340 fishes found dead at the areas of Montana after eating contaminated algae from the rivers. Even though, it has also killed major plants, which are found within the water.

Causes Soil Erosion

Besides, the subsurface mining process is dangerous for wildlife and human beings; but it also causes problems related to soil erosion. It all causes problems, which are related to floods and even land sliding.

How can this impact be minimized?

After understanding the impact of the subsurface mining on the environment, now it is the time when we need to understand how this impact can be minimized. So, let’s check out all such ideas which can help in reducing its impact.

Reduce input

As there is a huge usage of the water within the subsurface mining process and preventing water pollution, it is very important to reduce the input. Even though, while changing the flow of the surface water, the quality of the water can be maintained.

Reduce output

A lot of wastage is there in the process of the surface mining and subsurface mining. Such wastage includes solid wastage, air particles, and even mine water wastage. There must be some wastage management plans which are beneficial in reducing the output.

Proper wastage disposable

There must be proper disposable of the waste, which can be only possible while keeping some of the guidelines in mind. The mining companies need to focus on all such equipment, which helps dispose of the waste material.

Must understand the value of the environment

To protect the environment, it is very much important that the mining companies must understand the value of the environment. Even though their workers also need to realise how they are harming the environment and its impact in the future.

Close shut down mines

The mines which are already closed are also very much dangerous to the environment. So, it is very much important to shut down all such mines. To protect the environment, it is very much essential to restore the area across the mine.

Final words

We hope that you have understood all the impacts of subsurface coal mining or subsurface mining. If you are very much conscious about the environment, we believe the above information is very beneficial for you. So, make others get aware of all these things to keep the environment safe and healthy for living.

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