Yes. And with an ever increasing global population, advances in consumer technology and affordability. Changes to reduce our impact on the climate. We are going to need it a lot more moving forward.
There would be no mass-produced electronics, even the basics such as light bulbs, to your smart phone, laptops, television sets, kitchen appliances and so on. These devices often require minerals such as quarts, copper, gold, iron, aluminium and more.
Your house or apartment building, likely constructed of brick or concrete with a slate or tiles roof. That slate, clay, limestone, granite, feldspars and more. All had to be mined from somewhere.
Do you like the fresh minty feeling after brushing your teeth and rest easy knowing that your dentist will not be pulling any of them out any time soon? This is thanks to brushing them a mixture of the minerals, calcite, halite, silica, magnesium and fluorite.
Take a look at the image below for a very simplified breakdown of the mining that goes into some of your house hold items.
The short answer, No. In-fact, the push for more renewables and green forms of energy will require a substantial increase in mining. Currently about 40 percent of the global electrical supply is generated from coal. This is being shifted in many countries to alternate forms, such as nuclear power, wind or solar. But for these methods, you need infrastructure. Such as turbines, solar panels, frames and structures, wiring and so on. In the case of nuclear power, you also need radioactive minerals. All of these components require mining.
Right: An image of the inner gears, cabling and components of a wind turbine.
Therefore, it is a good idea to take a step back and consider, just how much we require mining activities in our daily lives. From the smallest of tasks to the largest of projects. Should we do our best to reduce mining activities effects on the environment. Absolutely, but the truth is, mining is here to stay.
Not unless we wish to return to the stone age. (Actually, that would require some small scale mining to some degree for stone tools).
Disclaimer: Axial Exploration and Drilling Supplies Ltd is not affiliated with Cat® and/or Caterpillar® in any form. The images used are for information purposes only.
Caitlin Palmer – Axial Exploration and Drilling Supplies Content Creator.