ERIC Number: ED216816
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Copper: Its Environmental Impacts. AIO Red Paper #22.
Boutis, Elizabeth; Jantzen, Jonathan Landis, Ed.
Although copper is a widespread and useful metal, the process of mining and refining copper can have severe detrimental impacts on humans, plants, and animals. The most serious impacts from copper production are the release of sulphur dioxide and other air pollutants and the poisoning of water supplies. These impacts occur in both the mining and refining processes. The processes create visual scars, cause unnatural noise and vibration, potentially cause land subsidence over underground mines, and create large piles of wasterock above the surface. Mine development, like most development, causes sociological impacts on the communities near the mine. Many of these impacts can be minimized if the company or tribe doing the mining is careful and committed to reducing impacts. It would be wise for tribes with potential copper development on their land to be concerned about impacts, to write reclamation requirements into their leases, to enact tribal air, water, and reclamation codes, and to implement mechanisms to enforce these codes. Baseline studies should be conducted to determine the quality of air, water, soil, and wildlife before mining begins in order to document any reduction in quality. (Author/AH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Americans for Indian Opportunity, Inc., Albuquerque, NM.