Are rock quarries or copper mines worse for the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    Copper mines, by a loooooooong way.

    I’ll just use annecdotal evidence. There are rock quarries regularly used in Dr. Who episodes. Health hazard is zero, or they wouldn’t film there. True, the landscape is destroyed, but in the US there are laws in place that require companies to restore what they’ve messed up, for example in strip mining.

    Copper mining is a whole different story. With a rock quarry, the goal is to get the non-toxic rock. With copper mining, the goal is to get copper ore. It’s a long way from being the finished copper product, and some of the initial crushing and separation is liable to happen on the mining site. Those chemicals are nasty. And they persist sometimes indefinitely. 

    Another problem with copper mining is that quite a lot of material may need to be removed to get at the ore. With a rock quarry, the material is usually right there near the surface.

    Take a look at the URL images below to get an idea of how huge these excavations can be. They make a typical rock quarry look like a kid’s backyard project.

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