Extractive Industries

Mining California: An Ecological History (2005), by Isenberg, describes how high-pressure water cannons washed hillsides into sluices that used mercury to trap gold but let the soil wash away leaving behind twenty tons of mercury every mile—rivers overflowed their banks and valleys were flooded, the land poisoned.

Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities and the Environment (2004), Earthworks and Oxfam America, explains what lies behind that stupendous lode of copper and tantalum, gold and platinum and how the mining of these and other metals damages landscapes, pollutes water, and poisons people.

Extractive Industries in Arid and Semi-Arid Zones: Environmental Planning and Management (2003), IUCN – World Conservation Union, aims to contribute to planning and management approaches that minimise land degradation and desertification in arid and semi-arid zones as a result of extractive industries operations.

The Ecology of Industry: The Extractive Industries (1998), National Academy of Engineering, raises some key industrial-ecology-related issues of the extractive industries, particularly mining. Historical, current, and potential future practices are examined in an attempt to identify opportunities for and barriers to improvement.

Environmental Degradation and Rehabilitation of the Landscape around Sudbury, a Major Mining and Smelting Area (1996), by Winterhalder, encapsulating the environmental degradation of the Sudbury area and how the recovery process was enhanced by the municipality’s land reclamation program.

Environmental Impacts of Mining Monitoring, Restoration, and Control (1993), by Sengupta, addresses some of the most significant environmental problems associated with mining including destruction of landscapes, agricultural and forest lands, sedimentation and erosion, soil and groundwater contamination, air pollution, and waste management.

Mineral Resources and Sustainability: Challenges for Earth Scientists (1997), Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources, focuses on two issues to which earth scientists have much to contribute: (1) depletion of mineral resources, and (2) the direct environmental effects of mining.

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