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What is a Mineral?

"A mineral is an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes" (Nickel, E. H., 1995).

"Minerals are naturally-occurring inorganic substances with a definite and predictable chemical composition and physical properties." (O' Donoghue, 1990).

"A mineral is a naturally occurring homogeneous solid, inorganically formed, with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic arrangement" (Mason, et al, 1968).

"These... minerals ...can be distinguished from one another by individual characteristics that arise directly from the kinds of atoms they contain and the arrangements these atoms make inside them" (Sinkankas, 1966).

"A mineral is a body produced by the processes of inorganic nature, having usually a definite chemical composition and, if formed under favorable conditions, a certain characteristic atomic structure which is expressed in its crystalline form and other physical properties" (Dana & Ford, 1932).

"Every distinct chemical compound occurring in inorganic nature, having a definite molecular structure or system of crystallization and well-defined physical properties, constitutes a mineral species" (Brush & Penfield, 1898).


The Philippine archipelago is rich in mineral deposits, whether metallic or non - metallic. Mineral resources are different from other resources. Minerals are not like plants and animals that can be controlled in production. Minerals, after consuming, cannot be return or reproduced by nature.

Minerals are neccessary things in life. Minerals like iron, silver and gold are used in making furniture or jewerly of people. Coal and oil are used as fuels and can generate electricity due to some processes.

Here are some minerals available in the Philippines:

Metallic
Non - Metallic
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Chromite
  • Copper Concentrate
  • Iron Ore
  • Nickel Benificiated Ore
  • Charcoal or Uling
  • Salt or Asin
  • Silica Sand
  • Gravel and sand
  • Cement Raw Materials
    • Limestone
    • Shale
    • Other

Environmental effects and mitigation of mining:
Environmental issues can include erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of groundwaters by chemicals from the mining process and products.
Modern mining companies in many countries are required to follow strict environmental and rehabilitation codes, ensuring the area mined is returned to close to its original state, or an even better environmental state than before mining took place. In some countries with pristine environments, such as large parts of Australia, this is impossible despite the best intentions. Past mining methods have had, and methods used in countries with lax environmental regulations can continue to have, devastating environmental and public health effects.
Mining can have adverse effect on surrounding surface and ground water if protection measures are not exercised. The result can be unnaturally high concentrations of some chemical elements over a significantly large area of surface or subsurface. Coal mining releases approximately twenty toxic release chemicals, of which 85% is said to be managed on site. Combined with the effects of water and the new 'channels' created for water to travel through, collect in, and contact with these chemicals, a situation is created where mass-scale contamination can occur. In well-regulated mines hydrologists and geologists to careful measures to mitigate any type of water contamination that could be caused by mines. In modern mining, operations must, under federal and state law, meet standards for protecting surface and ground waters from contamination, including acid mine drainage (AMD). To mitigate these problems water is continuously monitored at coal mines. The five principal technologies used to control water flow at mine sites are: diversion systems, containment ponds, groundwater pumping systems, subsurface drainage systems, and subsurface barriers. In the case of AMD, contaminated water is generally pumped to a treatment facility that neutralizes the contaminants.


Some examples of environmental problems associated with mining operations are:
Ashio Copper Mine, Ashio, Japan was the site of substantial pollution at end of the nineteenth century :


Berkeley Lake, an abandoned pit mine in Butte, Montana that has filled with water which is now acidic and poisonous. In 2003, a water treatment plant came on-line, initially treating "new" water entering the pit and thereby reducing the rate of rise of pit water. Treated water is currently used in the concentrator of the nearby Montana Resources Continental Pit, but it is clean enough to return to Silver Bow Creek. Eventually, water in the pit itself will be treated.
Britannia Mines, a former copper mine near Vancouver, British Columbia. Copper from the abandoned mine washes into Howe Sound, polluting the water. No animal life remains there now. - Latest reports are that after a water treatment plant was put in, fish are returning to Britannia Bay - maybe for the first time ever. The name used by the First Nations tribes of Britannia Beach, even before mining started, means "The Place of No Fish".
Scouriotissa, a copper mine in Cyprus that has been abandoned. Contaminated dust blows off this site.
Tar Creek, an abandoned mining area in Picher, Oklahoma that is now an Environmental Protection Agency superfund site. Water in the mine has leaked through into local groundwater, contaminating it with metals such as lead and cadmium. [1]
Although such issues have been associated with some mining operations in the past, modern mining practices have improved significantly and are subject to close environmental scrutiny. To ensure completion of reclamation (restoring mine land) the Office of Surface Mining requires that mining companies post a bond to be held in escrow until productivity of reclaimed land has been convincingly demonstrated. Since 1978 the mining industry has reclaimed more than 2 million acres (8,000 km²) of land. This reclaimed land has renewed vegetation and wildlife in previous mining lands and can even be used for farming and ranching.

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