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  MINES, MINERALS, METALS

The metals and mining sector are the industry dedicated to the location and extraction of metal and mineral reserves around the world. Unlike other industries, mining cannot freely choose where it operates; it can only take place in areas where minerals and metals are concentrated. This can mean operating in sensitive or challenging environments; a trend that looks set to continue as easier to reach deposits run out. Mining ore and then extracting minerals and metals from it is a complex process, which requires a substantial investment in both expertise and infrastructure. It can take up to ten years, and in some cases longer, to go from the initial discovery of a deposit to first mine production.Global reserves of metals and minerals are mined for profit and then used in jewellery-making, industrial applications, and investments. The sector has a significant number of companies located internationally and operates with large revenues. Metals are classified into two categories; precious metals and industrial metals. Precious metals include gold, platinum, and silver. Precious metals are considered to be rare and can have a high economic value associated with them. Precious metals also derive their value from what they're used for, sculptural and manufacturing processes. Palladium, for example, is used in electronics.The Mining industry in India is a major economic activity which contributes significantly to the economy of India. The GDP contribution of the mining industry varies from 2.2% to 2.5% only but going by the GDP of the total industrial sector it contributes around 10% to 11%. Even mining done on small scale contributes 6% to the entire cost of mineral production. Indian mining industry provides job opportunities to around 700,000 individuals. As of 2012, India is the largest producer of sheet mica, 2015 the fourth largest producer of iron ore, alumina, chromite, and bauxite in the world. The coal and iron ore project is in the fifth largest reserve in world. India's metal and mining industry was estimated to be $106.4 billion in 2010.However, the mining in India is also infamous for human rights violations and environmental pollution. The industry has been hit by several high-profile mining scandals in recent times.Way ahead for the mining industry–Even if we were to recycle all the freely available metals and minerals in the world today, we would only meet a small percentage of the total mineral and metal requirements of society. This is in part due to the demands of a growing global population but also the reality that metals and minerals can remain in use for many years and are therefore simply unavailable for recycling.Mining is, therefore, key to almost every facet of our lives, from construction to the technological innovations that improve our lives. But we need to be mindful of the broader balance of benefits and impacts and how mining operations should be managed.Both the government and industry need to take a comprehensive view of sustainable development that should cover dimensions other than environment, such as stakeholder engagement and consultations, local area socio-economic development and transparency in communication and accountability. Preparation of a socio-economic assessment report for a mining project should be made a part of the permitting process for the grant and administration of mineral concession to a mining enterprise. Local socio-economic development works should preferably be executed by mining enterprises rather than government and semi-government agencies to avoid the problems of inadequate capacity, political manipulation and corruption.In order to alleviate the limitations of small mines in carrying out sustainable development activities, consortia of small mining enterprises in a region should be promoted. Technical advisory services should be made available to them in the relevant areas. Mineral development in a region should be carried out within its available social and environmental “carrying capacity” and infrastructural facilities at a given point of time.Sources- Various, Britannica, Wikipedia..

MINES, MINERALS, METALS

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