How does mining affect the economy?

1 Answer
Sep 12, 2017


In short term, it accelerates economic growth. In long term, it causes environmental degradation


Mining offers some jobs. But mines, when they are retired, are nonrenewable sources.

Miners are happy as long as they work. When a mining operation ends, they loose their jobs (if mine is a local and limited).

Most mining operations degrade environment. Dust, water pollution, air pollution, soil degradation, noise, etc. are examples. This pollution stays there for a long time. There are some old mining operations in Rockies (in the USA) causing water pollution even after their retirement.

If one person works as a mining employee for 5 years and he is local to that area, after retirement of that mine he cannot find a job if he wants to stay in his land. Maybe he has to move somewhere. Maybe he will be sick due to the fact that mine workers have elevated health risks such as lung cancer. When one person tries to get all economic benefits and costs, probably costs (environmentally related and health related) are greater than the benefits.

In any case, mining provides some economic gain but there are many disadvantages of it.