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Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society Research Paper


Background, Purpose and Authorization

Copper is one of the metals that were discovered in early centuries. It was found in nuggets and certain rocks within the Earth’s crust in combination with other elements. Due to its high melting point, the heats of simple kilns easily melt it out of ores. Copper ores have a distinctive color, they are easily recognized unlike other types of metals. The combination of copper with other elements such as zinc, tin and nickel leads to formation of very hard alloys that can be of great significance in making weapons and farm tools. The purpose of this analysis is to provide detailed information on the production, transportation and selling of copper. This analysis will also focus on the effects of copper on the environment, society, and economy.

Societal issues of copper

Copper mining is associated greatly with creation of jobs; it creates jobs to miners, transporters and traders. The process also unites people. It acts as a means of livelihood for most people that live near the mining grounds. Unfortunately, copper mining management pays little attention to the safety of its workers. Majority of the miners develop respiratory problems as a result of inhaling fumes produced by the copper mines. Some workers also die in the process of mining. Additionally, copper miners are among the worst paid employees in the world.

Copper is a very good conductor of electricity. This makes it widely used in the making utensils, electrical appliances such as cables, consumer durables such as refrigerators and household machines. Its lightness and corrosion resistance makes it a good material for making vehicle parts and engines. Copper is also the most flexible metal in the world. Its flexibility makes it a good material for building and construction (Chatterjee, 11). The characteristics of copper make it one of the most selling elements in the market. For instance, in Chile most part of the population takes part in selling appliances made of copper.

Environmental issues of copper

Although copper provides jobs to most people in Arizona (Hyde, 209), its mining is accompanied by emission of fumes that pollute the environment by not only clogging openings, but also causing acid rains. Some of the emissions from copper smelters that cause pollution include SO2 and arsenic. Mine effluents also affect the water quality of most rivers within the mining areas. Therefore, miners and people who live near the mining areas develop diseases because of consuming the polluted water.

Mining activity of copper also hampers with water reserves. For instance, most dams in Chilean mines are often destroyed because of copper contaminations. Its mining activity has a negative impact on the physical appearance of the environment. It leads to deterioration of the beauty of the environment and degradation of soil by metal ions and other waste products (Warhurst, 109).

Copper and economic issues

Copper mining is the key revenue of some countries such as Chile, because it is highly demanded in the world. The emergence and advancement of electricity industry contributes to its increase in demand. Copper is also highly used in the expansion of projects and technological investments. For instance, Chile raises over 50% tax from copper mining, exports grant approximately $ 7 billion yearly. The income rose from copper cannot be compared with that of zinc (Usa, 41).

This is because copper is greatly used in the advancement of technology in the world. Unfortunately, there is great possibility for copper extinction to take place. This is evidenced by increase in price of copper products. Additionally, most of the Chile citizens are currently practicing farming so as to overcome the challenge that may be posed by the extinction of copper.

In conclusion, copper plays a significant role in the field of engineering. Its high heat conductivity encourages its usage in the transmission of electricity. Its high melting point also contributes to its usage in the making of utensils. Its flexibility makes it an essential element for the manufacture of vehicle parts and engines. The characteristics of copper also play a significant role in the marketing of copper worldwide. For instance, Chile rises over 50% of its income from exportation of copper to other countries in the world.

Copper mining also plays a significant role in the unification of people in the society; it enhances convergence of people with the same interest. However, copper mining is associated with the pollution of the environment. Its fumes hampers the quality of water in the rivers that bypass near mining areas. Additionally, emissions such as SO2 and arsenic cause respiratory diseases in human beings.

Attachments

Appendix A: Copper solid produced from Copper sulphate

Cu2S + O2 = Cu + SO2.

Appendix B: Extraction of arsenic

2 Cu12As4S13 + 39 O2 + 26 H2O = 24 Cu + 8 As + 26 H2SO4.

Works Cited

Hyde, Charles. Copper for America: The United States Copper Industry from Colonial Times to the 1990s. New York: University of Arizona Press, 1998. Print.

Usa, Hild. Chile Mineral & Mining Sector Investment and Business Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Regulations. New York: Int’l Business Publications, 2009. Print.

Warhurst, Alyson. Mining and the Environment: Case Studies from the Americas. New York: IDRC, 1999. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 18). Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/copper-mining-in-economy-environment-society/

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1. IvyPanda. "Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society." August 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/copper-mining-in-economy-environment-society/.


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IvyPanda. "Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society." August 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/copper-mining-in-economy-environment-society/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society." August 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/copper-mining-in-economy-environment-society/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Copper Mining in Economy, Environment, Society'. 18 August.

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