There have been many signs of mining over the years across the entire globe, with the earliest evidence being presented from near 10,000 years ago. Back then, the resources that were mined were found in their rawest form and were not smelted like they are today. In fact, the earliest signs of smelting were around 6,000 years ago with the discovery of tin!
All of these early signs of mining then developed over the years as technology developed, allowing more metals to be discovered and went on to cause the passing of the General Mining Act 1872 to be put into place. Although this may not seem significant in today’s society, it is,in fact, still present today and is the foundation behind all the regulations that are currently put into place, not least including the practices that are used and theequipment, such as drill rigs and the rock hammer, that have been developed.However, while these regulations have been put into place in the past, questions have arisen as to whether the USA’s mining industry has really improved at all. We’re exploring exactly that, below.
History Of Mining In The USA
Mining has had a long history in the United States,much of the famed industry originating with the California Gold Rush of 1848. This saw hundreds of people travelling from all over the USA to the state of California in search of riches and when it became clear that they were finding gold, itleadeven more to not only mine but to populate the area too. In addition to this, the progression of mining expanded. This then stretches to 2008, when the coal mining industry grew substantially and helped to fund the American economy as we know it today.
Mining and its effects on the environment have been well known for years, however, this is something that has begun to improve in recent years. Whether this is from greener technology or more efficient ways of transporting goods, the mining industry has begun to improve dramatically. One of the main effects on the environment is the lack of water that is remaining in and around mining sites when the surface water is removed. This has begun to be tackled as water conservation methods have begun to be implemented. This is crucial because it will help to restore the area around the site and ensure the least amount of damage as possible.
Another way that sustainability is being tackled by mining is by reducing the amount of land that is disrupted when looking for the raw material. This is being tackled by trying to pick digging sites that are nearer to existing buildings so that it can be flattened and used for houses or other infrastructure in the future after it is deemed safe to do so. This, therefore, helps to reduce the amount of land that is wasted and ensures that it is kept as natural as possible.
As regulations are set in place, the mining industry adapts. With regulations being updated regularly, not only has the technology had to adapt but the level of health and safety has also changed dramatically. This has then changed the way that mining works because it has led to automated equipment and can then remove the risk of health and safety as the machines can be driven remotely. This is a benefit to the mining industry as these machines are able to dig much deeperinto areas that may perhaps be too dangerous for manually operated machines to reach.
In addition to health and safety regulations changing, so too do the regulations on the environmental impacts in every aspect of the mining industry, whether this is transporting good from site to site or washing and extracting the ore, the regulations surrounding these elements continue to get tighter and tighter. An example of this is regulations surrounding the abandonment of a site. Should you then want to go back to this site and mine once it has been abandoned, it will then need to go to the inspector of the site as stated in the Mines and Quarries Act 1954.
Mining within the US, in particular, has faced its challenges. From the sheer volume of miners and companies seeking valuable materials to controversy regarding sustainability, the ongoing improvements are much-needed.