DIAMOND MINING AND THE ENVIRONMENT FACT SHEET
The formal diamond mining industry constantly strives to strike a balance between its
The Diamond mining industry faces environmental challenges
It must be recognised that mineral extraction by its very nature of mining does have the potential to impact the environment unless carefully managed. The key challenge is Land Disturbance; Diamond mining uses a variety of methods, some of which involve the removal of large quantities of soil from the earth. However it must be remembered that it is economically beneficial to recover the greatest amount of diamonds while moving the least amount of other material. Therefore diamond mines seek to have the minimum sized footprint, and move only that necessary material (known as waste) efficiently.
Modern day best practice calls for a full review of the plans for removal, storage and return of this topsoil/waste and the environmental impact it will have to allow the area to return to its previous state.
In addition to land disturbances there are a number of other associated challenges:
• Energy use and emissions
Diamond mining, unlike many other traditional types of resource extraction which often involve complex chemical industrial processes and/or extreme heat, is quite a green process. The process of diamond extraction from hard rock mines, prehistoric dry alluvial locations, as well as underwater dredging extraction does not use hazardous materials.
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