IB Information

Statement of Inquiry

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Key Concept

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Related Concepts

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Global Context

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Approaches to Learning

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Search terms

mining, fracking, tailings, dredging, reclamation, uranium mining, coal mining, gas, CCUS, carbon capture utilization and storage, regeneration 


What is mining?

The branch of industry concerned with the search for, and extraction of, minerals from the Earth is called mining. The site in which minerals are found is usually called a mine—two exceptions are oil wells and rock quarries. The kinds of minerals dug from the Earth vary widely. They include the ores of iron, aluminum, chromium, tungsten, gold, silver, copper, coal, diamonds, lead, nickel, platinum, tin, and zinc. Some of the less familiar products taken from mines are arsenic, antimony, asphalt, cobalt, molybdenum, sulfur, and vanadium. These and other minerals have, for 6,000 years, provided the raw materials by which human civilizations have been built. Today, apart from food, paper, and some clothing, there is hardly a product that is not derived from the Earth’s store of minerals. Nearly every building in modern industrial societies such as Canada, Japan, Germany, and the United States is constructed primarily from processed raw materials dug out of the ground. Highways are paved with asphalt and the cars, trucks, and buses that ride on them are made mostly from steel and other metals. Appliances such as radios, television sets, telephones, toasters, refrigerators, computers, compact disc players, and microwave ovens would not be possible without the assorted metals and plastics used to make them. Without minerals the production of goods and the creation of wealth would be impossible.

Mining - "no significant environmental effects"?

Siggurdsson. (2006, August 23). Mining - no significant environmental effects? [video file]. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from