Solid minerals will promote climate change

Solid minerals

Solid minerals will promote climate change

As the world is dealing with the multifarious difficulties of climate change, the discovery and extraction of solid minerals have emerged as a double-edged sword, offering both economic benefits and environmental hazards that have the potential to worsen climate change.  


With increasing industrialization and global demand for raw materials, the potential of utilizing solid minerals for economic growth and development is pitted against the need to offset the negative environmental repercussions that this sector may produce. 


The environment is ever-changing. It is altered by a variety of natural mechanisms, including climate and geological processes, imposing physical limits on human activity. However, man-made environmental changes do occur, and they have become more visible in recent times, with man proving to be the primary actor in this respect. Solid mineral resource extraction has become critical in several developing countries, including Nigeria.  


Nigeria is endowed with enormous mineral resources, which have greatly contributed to the country’s prosperity and associated socioeconomic benefits. Mineral resources are an essential source of wealth for a country, but they must first be explored, mined, and processed before they can be used.  


Mining activities in regions like Edo State have a lot of opportunities to play a part in local and foreign exchange profits as well as draw foreign direct investment, which will help the country’s economy.


However, the commercial raw materials that are extracted from these locations have an effect on the environment. This effect can be seen at quarry locations, processing plants, and in the surrounding environment. The degradation of the environment has damaged agriculture, vegetation, and animal life, and even poses a hazard to the health of mine or quarry workers and anybody else living in the nearby area. 


Mining solid minerals offers an array of socioeconomic advantages; nevertheless, if not properly managed, the environmental and social consequences can be substantial in terms of land conversion and degradation, habitat change, and water and air pollution. After crude oil production, the mining sector is widely regarded as Nigeria’s second most polluting industry.  


Industry consumes a lot of resources and produces a lot of trash and effluent. The contamination of air, water, and soil materials caused by the extraction and preparation of industrial rocks and other minerals in this portion of Edo State impacts human health, quality of life, and the normal operation of the environment.  


It additionally ends up in landscape defacement, higher soil erosion, and deforestation. The noise and vibration created by blasting rocks with explosives (dynamite) have had a negative impact on nearby structures and residents.  

Solid mineral effects 


Defacement of the Environment: This is readily apparent at quarry sites when the aesthetic value of the area is drastically reduced. The area is unattractive due to the presence of multiple mine pits. Overburden materials and waste rocks are the most typical wastes produced by open pit mining. These wastes are placed in heaps along the sides of the pits, which have upward slopes and are precarious, thus sliding is common. 


Popular locations include a granite quarry in Imeke and marble quarries in Ikpeshi and Igarra. Some of the pits have been filled with water to form ponds or artificial lakes as of 2014. Investigation also reveals that the majority of these ponds serve as breeding sites for insects, algae, and reptiles. In other situations, residents use them as means of drinking water as well as swimming pools. 


Solid minerals also increase soil Erosion: The extraordinary demands of a fast-growing human population, combined with technological advances, are creating a steady degradation in the quality of the environment and how well it can sustain life. Sand extraction, particularly for building reasons, has caused significant harm to the soil in areas underlain by sedimentary rocks such as Afowa, Ayoguri, Fugar, and Apana. This action has left the entire landscape vulnerable to serious erosion.  


The extent of erosion, however, is greatest where water activity takes debris from the soil and runs down the downhill. Landscape erosion is also common in locations surrounded by crystalline rocks, where mining operations occur every day. These are found in densely forested and grassy places.  


When a prospector discovers an appropriate solid mineral deposit, the land surface is cleared of vegetation. This activity subjects the fertile topsoil to the erosive work of water as it sweeps away loose soil, leaving behind elements that are incompatible with plant growth. 


The growing threat of solid minerals worsening climate change emphasizes the critical need for preventive steps and long-term strategies to mitigate the environmental concerns associated with their extraction and use.  


 Dr. Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify away from hydrocarbons and make the minerals sector a key contributor to the nation’s GDP as part of measures to counteract climate change.  


It is becoming increasingly obvious that effective natural resource management is critical to striking a careful balance between economic development and environmental conservation. 

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