Is gold mining or copper mining worse for the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    Both types of mining can have severe consequences on the environment. Whenever digging up ore that has been buried for possibly millions of years, there is a high chance of the minerals reacting to water or air when exposed producing chemicals like sulfuric acid and arsenic which can take decades to clean up. The use of cyanide in separating gold from ore poses a severe impact on the environment and health. Cyanide is a known toxin to nearly all life and is very difficult to clean. However, where I am from in Tacoma, Washington there used to be a large copper smelter located on our waterfront. It was removed over thirty years ago and millions of dollars have been spent cleaning arsenic from the surrounding 100 or so mile radius of the smelter and residents are still advised to use caution when gardening here. So both can lead to perilous damage and health complications, but I would say the process of mining copper may have more significant implications

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