answer the questions on the discussion, please. there are 4 questions answer them clearly. see the attached file.please do not do it as Essay. I need you to answer each question by order you put the qestion and the answer under it. do not use contractions when you write like ” don’t, can’t, couldn’t etc..”thank you
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Gold mining is one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the world.
Most gold today is extracted using a technique called cyanide heap- leaching.
Workers dig and blast the earth in open- pit mines so massive that astronauts can see
them from space. Using huge earth- moving machines, they pile the gold- bearing ore
into mounds the size of pyramids, then spray them with a solution of cyanide to leach
out the gold. In a series of steps, gold is then removed from the drainage at the bottom
of the heap and is further refined in smelters into pure bars of the precious metal.
Heap- leaching enables the economic extraction of gold from low- grade ores; some
modern mines use as much as 30 tons of rock to produce a single ounce of precious
metal. But this process can be highly damaging to the environment. Cyanide is one of
the most potent poisons known; a pellet the size of a grain of rice can kill a person.
Most spent cyanide solution is stored in reservoirs, where it gradually breaks down.
But these reservoirs are prone to accidents. In 2000, at a gold mine in Romania
operated by the Australian firm Esmeralda Exploration, 100,000 tons of wastewater
laced with cyanide spilled into a tributary of the Danube River. The toxic plume
washed all the way to the Black Sea, causing a massive kill of fish and birds and
contaminating the drinking water of 2.5 million people.
After this incident, a Romanian citizens group called Alburnus Maior organized to
block construction of a new gold mine by the Canadian firm Gabriel Resources at
Rosia Montana. We have to decide whether we want [these] mountains to become a
no- mans land, said Eugen David, a local farmer and activist.
Transportation of materials to and from mines, which are often located in remote
areas, poses additional risks. A truck carrying containers of mercury ( a by- product of
gold extraction) from the Yanacocha Mine in Peru, owned by U. S.- based Newmont
Mining, spilled its load on a rural road. Villagers from the area, not understanding the
danger, collected the hazardous liquid metal. More than 1,000 people became ill,
some permanently, a lawsuit later filed on their behalf charged.
In most developed nations, environmental laws prohibit the discharge of mining
waste directly into waterways. But elsewhere in the world, laws are often weaker and
regulations poorly enforced. In Indonesia, U.S. – based Freeport McMorans Grasberg
operation, the largest gold mine in the world, dumped its waste directly into local
rivers, badly damaging downstream rain forests and wetlands. An official of the
Environment Ministry said that the agencys regulatory tools were so weak that it was
like painting on clouds to get the company even to follow the law.
Gold mining also pollutes the air. The entire process of metal extraction from
diesel-powered earth- moving equipment to oil- and coal- burning smelters
consumes large quantities of fuel, contributing to global warming. Smelters produce
oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, components of acid rain, as well as traces of toxic metals
such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium.
Another environmental hazard of gold extraction is acid mine drainage. Often, the
rock that harbors gold also contains sulfide minerals. When this rock is crushed and
exposed to air and water, these minerals form sulfuric acid. As this acid drains from
mine debris, it picks up other metals, such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, creating a
toxic brew that can drain into groundwater and waterways. This process can go on for
decades, long after a mine has shut down.
In the United States, although mining companies have to follow environmental laws,
no law specifically ensures that a mine will not create acid runoff. Sixty- three
Superfund sites are abandoned mines; the EPA has estimated their cleanup cost at $
7.8 billion. In a study for Congress in 2005, the General Accounting Office called for
new rules to require mining companies to post adequate surety bonds ( a kind of
insurance) to cover the costs of remediation if they went out of business.
Pegasus Gold, a Canadian company, declared bankruptcy in 1998 and abruptly shut
down its Zortman- Landusky mine in Montana, once the largest gold mine in the
United States, sticking the states taxpayers with a $ 33 million bill for ongoing water
treatment and cleanup. The citizens of Montana subsequently voted to ban cyanide
heap- leach mining completely anywhere in the state. After an effort to overturn this
initiative failed, Canyon Resources, a company that held the rights to a valuable
Montana deposit, said it was looking into other ways to extract gold, including an
innovative new technology that used bacteria instead of cyanide.
In 2004, Earthworks, an environmental NGO based in the United States, launched a
campaign called No Dirty Gold, and called on jewelry retailers to support the
Golden Rules, agreeing to source only from responsibly operated mines. Many
retailers from Tiffany & Co. and Cartier to Walmart and JCPenney signed on.
Two years later, Earth-works joined with mining companies, retailers, and jewelers in
the Madison Dialogue, an ongoing conversation about how best to encourage best
environmental practices in their industry. A manager from Cartier, the jewelry
retailer, said, It is our duty to provide our clients with creations that are beautiful,
desirable . . . and responsibly made. As times change, so do societys expectations.
Sources: Earthworks and Mining Watch Canada, Troubled Waters: How Mine Waste
Dumping Is Poisoning Our Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes, February 2012; The New Gold
Standard, Time, February 6, 2009; Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities, and the
Environment, a Report by Earthworks and Oxfam America, www.nodirtygold.org;
Beyond Golds Glitter: Torn Lands and Pointed Questions, The New York Times,
October 24, 2005, pp. A1, A10; Tangled Strands in Fight over Peru Gold Mine, The
New York Times, October 25, 2005, pp. A1, A14; Hardrock Mining: BLM Needs to
Better Manage Financial Assurances to Guarantee Reclamation Costs, GAO Report to
the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs, U. S. Senate, June 2005; Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to
Fail or Succeed ( New York: Viking, 2005), ch. 15, Big Business and the
Environment: Different Conditions, Different Outcomes; Websites of Westerners for
Responsible Mining, www. bettermines.org, and Alburnus Maior,
www.rosiamontana.org; and additional articles in the Northwest Mining Association
Bulletin, High Country News, and Billings Gazette. The website of the Madison
Dialogue is at www.madisondialogue.org.
1. Using the classification system presented in the chapter section Major Areas of
Environmental Regulation, explain what type(s) of pollution is (are) generated by
gold mining. Which of these do you think is (are) most damaging to the environment,
2. Using the classification system presented in the chapter section Alternative Policy
Approaches, explain what type(s) of government regulation would most effectively
address the concerns you identified in question 1.
3. In your view, what role should nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and citizen
movements play in reducing the adverse environmental impacts of gold mining?
4. Which of the gold mining companies mentioned in this case are more or less
environmentally responsible? What factors, in your view, might cause these
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