Essay about Diamond Mining

1539 Words May 30th, 2012 7 Pages

* Diamond is the strongest natural mineral known by a man. It is a crystalline form of carbon. * Composed primarily individual crystals of a cubic appearance. * There are three main uses for Diamonds * Industrial * Fashion (only 5% of diamonds) * Investment

Approximately 130,000,000 carats (26,000 kg) of diamonds are mined yearly, with a total value of nearly US$9 billion, and about 100,000 kg are synthesized annually.
Close to 49% of diamonds are coming from Central and Southern Africa. Also sources of the mineral have been discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia. They are mined from kimberlitic and lamproite volcanic
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Irresponsible diamond mining has caused soil erosion, led to deforestation, and forced local populations to relocate. Angola’s diamond industry has been particularly careless in protecting rivers and streams from exploitation. Diamond miners have re-routed rivers and constructed dams to expose riverbeds for mining, with disastrous effects on fish and wildlife. In extreme cases, diamond mining can cause entire ecosystems to collapse. Diamond miners in the Kono district of eastern Sierra Leone have left behind thousands of mining pits. Wildlife has vanished, topsoil has eroded, and land once suitable for farming is now a desolate moonscape. Abandoned mining pits have created a public health disaster as well. When the pits fill with stagnant rainwater, they become infested with mosquitoes, spreading malaria and other water-borne diseases.

Responsible Diamond Mining
Diamond mining is generally less harmful to the environment than other types of mining, such as gold mining, because it does not make use of toxic chemicals. Despite serious environmental risks, effective regulation and proper planning can minimize diamond mining’s environmental impact. The Canadian Arctic is a very fragile ecosystem, but it is heavily regulated to protect the surroundings. Namibia and Botswana have been similarly successful in implementing environmental safeguards in their diamond mines. In addition,

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