• What is mineral resource extraction?

    Mining is the extraction (removal) of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth. Materials recovered by mining include base metals (e.g., iron, nickel, lead, copper and zinc), precious metals (e.g., gold, silver and platinum), uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock salt and potash. Mining in a wider sense comprises extraction of any non-renewable resource (e.g., petroleum, natural gas, or even water).

    Mining can be divided into large and small scale and surface and sub-surface mining. Surface mining is done by removing (stripping) surface vegetation, dirt, and if necessary, layers of bedrock in order to reach buried ore deposits. Sub-surface mining consists of digging tunnels or shafts into the earth to reach buried ore deposits.

  • How important is this threat compared to others?

  • Why is it a threat to great apes?

  • Is mineral resource extraction dangerous for all species in the same way?

Compiled and edited 2011 by Kay H. Farmer
Reviewed by Hjalmar Kuehl, Josephine Head and Neba Funwi-Gabga

  • References