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MINERALS General Classification of Nonrenewable Mineral The U.S Geological Survey classifies mineral Resources  resources into four major categories:  Identified: known location, quantity, and quality or existence known based on direct evidence and measurements  Undiscovered: potential supplies that are assumed to exist  Reserves: identified resources that can be extracted profitably  Other: undiscovered or identified resources not classified as reserves General Classification of Nonrenewable Mineral Resources Examples are fossil  fuels (coal, oil), metallic minerals (copper, iron), and nonmetallic minerals (sand, gravel) Figure 15-7 GEOLOGIC PROCESSES   Deposits of nonrenewable mineral resources in the earth’s crust vary in their abundance and distribution A very slow chemical cycle recycles three types of rock found in the earth’s crust:  Sedimentary rock (sandstone, limestone)  Metamorphic rock (slate, marble, quartzite)  Igneous rock (granite, pumice, basalt) Erosion Transportation Weathering Deposition Igneous rock Granite, pumice, basalt Sedimentar y rock Sandstone, limestone Heat, pressure Cooling Heat, pressure, stress Magma (molten rock) Melting Metamorphic rock Slate, marble, gneiss, quartzite Fig 15-8, p 343 ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF USING MINERAL RESOURCES   Minerals are removed through a variety of methods that vary widely in their costs, safety factors, and levels of environmental harm A variety of methods are used based on mineral depth  Surface mining: shallow deposits are removed  Subsurface mining: deep deposits are removed Mining Regulations  The General Mining Act of 1872 is a United States federal law that authorizes and governs prospecting and mining for economic minerals, such as gold, platinum, and silver, on federal public lands This law, approved on May 10, 1872, codified the informal system of acquiring and protecting mining claims on public land, formed by prospectors in California and Nevada from the late 1840s through the 1860s, such as during the California Gold Rush Open-pit Mining   Machines dig holes and remove ores, sand, gravel, and stone Toxic groundwater can accumulate at the bottom Figure 15-11 Area Strip Mining   Earth movers strips away overburden, and giant shovels removes mineral deposit Often leaves highly erodible hills of rubble called spoil banks Figure 15-12 Natural Capital Degradation Extracting, Processing, and Using Nonrenewable Mineral and Energy Resources Steps Environmental effects Mining Disturbed land; mining accidents; health hazards, mine waste dumping, oil spills and blowouts; noise; ugliness; heat Exploration, extraction Processing Use Solid wastes; radioactive material; air, water, and soil pollution; noise; safety and health hazards; ugliness; heat Transportation or transmission to individual user, eventual use, and discarding Noise; ugliness; thermal water pollution; pollution of air, water, and soil; solid and radioactive wastes; safety and health hazards; heat Transportation, purification, manufacturing Fig 15-10, p 344 Mining Waste    Subsidence is a phenomenon where the surface collapses directly above a subsurface mine Spoils are the unwanted rock and other waste left over after mining either on the surface or subsurface Tailings are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the worthless fraction of an ore What to with the waste  Incorporate the mine waste into  Concrete for buildings  Backfill for roads  Extraction of other minerals ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF USING MINERAL RESOURCES  The extraction, processing, and use of mineral resources has a large environmental impact Figure 15-9 SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES   The future supply of a resource depends on its affordable supply and how rapidly that supply is used A rising price for a scarce mineral resource can increase supplies and encourage more efficient use SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES  Depletion curves for a renewable resource using three sets of assumptions  Dashed vertical lines represent times when 80% depletion occurs Figure 15-16 SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES   New technologies can increase the mining of low-grade ores at affordable prices, but harmful environmental effects can limit this approach Most minerals in seawater and on the deep ocean floor cost too much to extract, and there are squabbles over who owns them Getting More Minerals from the Ocean  Hydrothermal deposits form when mineralrich superheated water shoots out of vents in solidified magma on the ocean floor Figure 15-17 USING MINERAL RESOURCES MORE SUSTAINABLY   Scientists and engineers are developing new types of materials as substitutes for many metals Recycling valuable and scarce metals saves money and has a lower environmental impact then mining and extracting them from their ores Solutions Sustainable Use of Nonrenewable Minerals • Do not waste mineral resources • Recycle and reuse 60–80% of mineral resources • Include the harmful environmental costs of mining and processing minerals in the prices of items (full-cost pricing) • Reduce subsidies for mining mineral resources • Increase subsidies for recycling, reuse, and finding less environmentally harmful substitutes • Redesign manufacturing processes to use less mineral resources and to produce less pollution and waste • Have the mineral-based wastes of one manufacturing process become the raw materials for other processes • Sell services instead of things • Slow population growth Fig 15-18, p 351 Controls  Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977: regulates active coal mines and reclaims abandoned mines  Standards of Performance  Permitting  Bonding  Inspection and Enforcement  Land Restrictions SMCRA  SMCRA and its implementing regulations set environmental standards that mines must follow while operating, and achieve when reclaiming mined land Requirements SMCRA requires that companies obtain permits before conducting surface mining Permit applications must describe what the premining environmental conditions and land use are, what the proposed mining and reclamation will be, how the mine will meet the SMCRA performance standards, and how the land will be used after reclamation is complete This information is intended to help the government determine whether to allow the mine and set requirements in the permit that will protect the environment Bonding SMCRA requires that mining companies post a bond sufficient to cover the cost of reclaiming the site This is meant to ensure that the mining site will be reclaimed even if the company goes out of business or fails to clean up the land for some other reason The bond is not released until the mining site has been fully reclaimed and the government has (after five years in the East and ten years in the West) found the that the reclamation was successful Inspection and Enforcement SMCRA gives government regulators the authority to inspect mining operations, and to punish companies that violate SMCRA or an equivalent state statute Inspectors can issue "notices of violation," which require operators to correct problems within a certain amount of time; levy fines; or order that mining cease Land Restrictions SMCRA prohibits surface mining altogether on certain lands, such as in National Parks and wilderness areas It also allows citizens to challenge proposed surface mining operations on the ground that they will cause too much environmental harm Case Study: The Ecoindustrial Revolution   Growing signs point to an ecoindustrial revolution taking place over the next 50 years The goal is to redesign industrial manufacturing processes to mimic how nature deals with wastes  Industries can interact in complex resource exchange webs in which wastes from manufacturer become raw materials for another Case Study: The Ecoindustrial Revolution Figure 15-19 [...]... Minerals • Do not waste mineral resources • Recycle and reuse 60–80% of mineral resources • Include the harmful environmental costs of mining and processing minerals in the prices of items (full-cost pricing) • Reduce subsidies for mining mineral resources • Increase subsidies for recycling, reuse, and finding less environmentally harmful substitutes • Redesign manufacturing processes to use less mineral. .. Backfill for roads  Extraction of other minerals ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF USING MINERAL RESOURCES  The extraction, processing, and use of mineral resources has a large environmental impact Figure 15-9 SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES   The future supply of a resource depends on its affordable supply and how rapidly that supply is used A rising price for a scarce mineral resource can increase supplies... seawater and on the deep ocean floor cost too much to extract, and there are squabbles over who owns them Getting More Minerals from the Ocean  Hydrothermal deposits form when mineralrich superheated water shoots out of vents in solidified magma on the ocean floor Figure 15-17 USING MINERAL RESOURCES MORE SUSTAINABLY   Scientists and engineers are developing new types of materials as substitutes for... efficient use SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES  Depletion curves for a renewable resource using three sets of assumptions  Dashed vertical lines represent times when 80% depletion occurs Figure 15-16 SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES   New technologies can increase the mining of low-grade ores at affordable prices, but harmful environmental effects can limit this approach Most minerals in seawater and... with it?  Once the ore is mined and hauled to the surface, it must be processed  Tailings are what is left behind once the valuable portion of the ore is removed  Gangue is the commercially worthless minerals associated with a valuable find Mining Impacts  Metal ores are smelted or treated with (potentially toxic) chemicals to extract the desired metal Figure 15-15 Gold Processing  Gold is treated... manganese, zinc, cadmium, thallium, copper, cobalt and arsenic  Hyperaccumulation may have applications in mining in the future Natural Capital Degradation Extracting, Processing, and Using Nonrenewable Mineral and Energy Resources Steps Environmental effects Mining Disturbed land; mining accidents; health hazards, mine waste dumping, oil spills and blowouts; noise; ugliness; heat Exploration, extraction... Releases Dust Emissions Habitat Modification Surface and Groundwater Contamination Coal mining affects the environment  Strip mining causes severe soil erosion and chemical runoff  Acid drainage = sulfide minerals on exposed rock surfaces react with oxygen and rainwater to produce sulfuric acid  Mountaintop removal causes enormous damage  Coal mining harms human health Subsurface mining is harmful to... subsidies for recycling, reuse, and finding less environmentally harmful substitutes • Redesign manufacturing processes to use less mineral resources and to produce less pollution and waste • Have the mineral- based wastes of one manufacturing process become the raw materials for other processes • Sell services instead of things • Slow population growth Fig 15-18, p 351 Controls  Surface Mining Control
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