Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Environmental impact of mining

Published:Wednesday | August 10, 2022 | 12:09 AM


In the last five decades, mining activity, particularly bauxite mining, has led to the loss of tree cover in 5,099 hectares of land and the loss of 3,214 hectares of forest cover.

A hectare is 107,639.104 square feet or, put another way, an acre is about 0.405 hectares, and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

An American football field is about one acre of land, to give you some perspective.

The massive amount of environmental degradation is caused by the use of opencast mining as a preferred mineral-extraction method, which primarily involves the complete removal of surface vegetation cover to expose mineral deposits.

Government agencies, however, blame illegal logging and the continuous use of firewood as the primary cause of deforestation.

Jamaica has, however, put much emphasis on rehabilitation and reclamation of mined-out lands.

Orchard crops and grass are normally planted on reclaimed lands. The land rehabilitation project is deemed one of the most successful in the world.

Now these bauxite companies are killing our fish in dump-truck loads.

We need to get rid of them. We will survive. They’re not paying us much, anyway.