The Effects of Mining in Africa

June 15, 2012

African Gold MineWhen it comes to mining, the mineral extraction industry has had and continues to have a major toll on the planet and its people. No continent is quite as affected as Africa. Each year, thousands die from accidents in the mines, countless civil wars are funded by the mining industry, and children are forced into slave labor each and every day. Mineral extraction has dangerous effects on, not only the culture of Africa, but the environment as well.

The mining industry occupies a significant amount of land in 96% of the 53 major African countries. Although Africa is heavily dependent on the profits from the natural minerals and the precious metals mined from the continent, mineral extraction is heavily to blame for the pollution problem in Africa. Pollution in Africa has been and continues to be a major problem. There are two main types of pollution affecting the country: air pollution and marine pollution. Pollution from mining activities is the most direct cause of groundwater pollution in South Africa. The coal and oil used to operate the mining machinery also contribute to the pollution problem in Africa. 100 percent of the 53 African countries are experiencing at least some level of air pollution due to mining. 98 percent are experiencing water pollution as a direct result of mining.

While some choose to buy diamonds and precious metals mined from other countries, if the items are mined from other Third World countries, chances are the conditions are not much better. While there are initiatives to have legislature passed in the countries for better mining conditions, monetary desperation of the countries ensures that illegally run mines continue to operate. As long as the countries continue to have population problems and slave labor, unsavory mining activities will continue to occur.

While most Americans feel there is “nothing” they can do, there are some proactive steps Americans can take in helping alleviate the problem. First, new jewelry can be bought from trusted sources which use man-made diamonds. While this is not for everyone, man-made diamonds appear very similar to natural diamonds and can easily pass off as being natural. Similarly, those who send their gold, silver, and diamond jewelry to trusted companies can aid in helping those in Third World countries lead better lives. Unless a gold, silver, or diamond buyer can be trusted, one should sell their items elsewhere.

You might be asking what the difference is. Trusted precious metal refineries, like CJ Environmental, refine the precious metals themselves. At CJ Environmental, all refining takes place in-house, and none of it is sent overseas. If you’d like to ensure that your precious metals are being refined within the States, rather than sent overseas to contribute to a poor quality of life, send your items to us today!

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