Pros and Cons of Strip Mining

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Strip mining is a form of resource collection that involves dirt removal from a very large area to sift through it. Instead of working underground, a pit is created deep in the ground and all work is accomplished on the surface. Here are the pros and cons of strip mining to consider.

Strip Mining Pros to Consider

1. It is very cost effective.
Mining happens from the first moment work begins with a strip mine. There’s no need to develop ground-based infrastructure. If you’ve got a shovel and mining rights, then you can strip mine right now.

2. It offers huge recovery rates.
Because all of the ground is being directly examined in a strip mine, there is a greater chance of return on an investment. Compared to other forms of mining, a strip mine is up to 40 percentage points more efficient. This helps economies get the resources they need while investors make a profit.

3. It allows for products to be brought to market faster.
Since it is so much easier to recover needed deposits through strip mining, products can hit the marketplace faster. This creates additional economic benefits through spending, creates jobs, and allows for growth.

Strip Mining Cons to Consider

1. It requires an investment gamble.
The processes of strip mining are cheaper. The actual investment into those processes, however, are typically higher than in other forms of mining. From equipment to staffing to distribution, it may not always be possible to gain an exit out of this investment.

2. It may contaminate the local water supplies.
To access some of the needed products in the ground, solvents and other chemicals are sometimes used to gather the needed items. These can then enter into the groundwater, leak into the environment, and pollute the surrounding atmosphere.

3. It takes a toll on the environment.
There’s no getting around the fact that a strip mine is essentially just a really big hole. This makes it difficult for the environment to recover from the activities because the resources are being manipulated in an artificial way. Add in flooding, erosion, and other natural events and the area may become unusable after the mine disappears.

The pros and cons of strip mining show certain advantages and disadvantages that must be evaluated. It may not be right for every community, but it could provide some key benefits to others.