Information on Hard Rock Mining

Hard Rock Mining: Risks to Community Health  "Hard rock mining is practiced in a manner inherently threatening to human health. Relatively few studies have looked at hardrock mining's effects on people living near, downstream or downwind from mines. The goal of this report is to begin to address the gap in scientific study and public information regarding risks for people living near mines. In doing so, it seeks to raise awareness of the importance and urgency of the issue and to catalyze further investigation."

(Use the link above to go to the report. Go to the bottom of the introduction and click on View the Publication (PDF) with the right-mouse button, then click on "Save Target As..." Then you will have the option to just open it to a temporary file or save it. The file has to be opened with Adobe Reader 5. When it has opened, look up at bar on the top right, you will see a box that shows the percentage of the viewing size, changing the value to 125% makes for good viewing.)

This extensive report is a recent one (9/1/04) by the Women's Voices for the Earth, a nonprofit organization in Montana, dedicated to empowering women --who historically have had little power to affect environmental policy -- to create an ecologically sustainable and socially just society. The report will be on their website soon.

Research on Hard Rock Mining in Arid Southwest Alluvial Basins "Hard rock mining for copper, gold, silver, and other minerals has been an important part of the economy of the southwestern United States for more than a century. Unfortunately, historical mining practices have contaminated ground water and surface water at many abandoned and active mine sites. Leakage and runoff from unlined wastewater ponds, heap-leach areas, tailings, and other contaminant sources can migrate from areas of hard-rock mining into regional alluvial aquifers that provide the sole source of drinking water to many local communities...."

Probing the Depths of a Solution for Acid Mine Drainage by Lance Frazer
"Acid mine drainage (AMD), caused by the physical and chemical weathering of sulfide-containing minerals such as iron pyrite, has been called one of the biggest threats to the U.S. environment. It has polluted ground and surface water, and has rendered streams and even whole river systems unfit for human consumption and unable to sustain any form of wildlife."

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