What are the reasons for why humans mine minerals?
Why do we mine? Have you ever wondered why countries devote a lot of investment and resources into mining minerals? In Australia alone, the mining industry counts for a significant portion of economic activity. Around 138 billion dollars per year is generated by the Australian mining industry. That is around more than twice than agriculture or tourism will contribute the Australian economy per year. But aside from the economics of mineral extraction, there are a lot of more reasons why Australia and many other countries in the world continue to mine precious metals and minerals from the earth. Here is why mining is such a prevalent industry.
Our electronics and goods need minerals
You are probably reading this article on an electronic device, such as a mobile smartphone or a PC. And those electronic devices need certain minerals to function. Those minerals such as gold, lead, gallium, cobalt, etc. are all needed in the batteries, circuits, and other components of your electronic devices. Modern society and a lot of what we depend on as humans rely on the minerals that are extracted through mining. Just take a look at the various goods that you have around your homes, such as your clothes, car, appliances, and even some certain foods. Production of those goods would not be possible without gaining the raw materials needed to create them.
Mining provides building materials
Most buildings, especially those huge skyscrapers that you see in cities, need the raw materials from the mining industry. Take for example a high-rise building. These kinds of buildings need a steel frame, and steel is processed from iron, which is an ore that is mined in many places around Australia. Even your residential building probably has got raw building materials that were taken from mines. Concrete, stone and other kinds of building materials all need to be mined and extracted from the ground. So without mining resources from the earth, the only practical building materials that we would have would be wood.
It generates jobs
The mining industry in Australia is a huge business. And because it is so big, there are so many jobs that it generates as well. Skilled labor is always needed within the mining industry. Miners, engineers, geologists, are just some of the jobs that people work in the mining industry. And mining is a lucrative business, meaning that people can get good jobs if they work in the mining industry. Without the presence of the mining industry, thousands of people could potentially lose their job. So it is good for economic stability and employment that the mining industry is there.
So as you can see, there are a lot of reasons for why mining is so important for any country. There are so many benefits to be gained from mining. And while there are certain pitfalls to mining, such as environmental degradation, those pitfalls, and negative side effects can be averted, if proper procedures and care are followed. It more than worth it to mine resources from the earth. After all, modern life would not be possible without mining. Human infrastructure and modern society are built on the resources that we have gained from mining.