Enviornmental Science Review Notes - EVS Notes Mineral and...

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EVS Notes 11/11/11 Mineral and Energy Resources - Mineral resources : Concentration of matter than can be extracted and processed at affordable cost - All these things are Non-renewable resources - Metallic (mineral resources) – most are compounds of oxides or sulfides - Non-metallic – sand and gravel, cement - Energy – Fossil fuel – coal, oil, gas Classification of Resources and Reserves: o Resource – amount of material o Reserve – Portion of a resource that can be economically extracted and processed (part of the resource that we can use) - Identified Reserves – Known location and can be produced now - Marginal Reserves – Known location and can be produced if prices increase - Sub economic Reserves – Known location, great increase in price to produce (3 to 5 x increase) - Hypothetical Resource – undiscovered – in known area - Speculative Resource – undiscovered – in new area Concentration: o Formation of resource by igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary processes Identification of Reserves: - Satellite images - Seismic studies - Lab techniques - Drill Extraction - Surface mining - o In U.S, 90% of minerals and 60% of coal o Strip off overburden to get to reserve o Down to about 1000 feet _______________________________________________________________________ _________________________ 11/14/11 Mining 1. Open pit- dig down and out 2. Dredging – dragline (big crane). Coastal – underwater 3. Area strip mine – relatively flat area, backfill used area
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4. Control strip mine – cut terraces on hillside 5. Hilltop removal 6. Subsurface Mining – shaft and gallery (10% of stuff comes form this method) a. Shafts go deep into the surface to mine from the galleries b. Expensive way to get resources c. Tend to leave a lot of reserve in the ground so that all the shafts and galleries will not collapse on you d. Hazardous Processing – Refining Remove waste material – tailings Mined material – average is 80% waste (8 out of every 10 pounds we mine, we throw away) Metal Refining – o smelting melt rock and remove impurities 1. Iron – 60% waste 2. Copper - 99% waste 3. Aluminum - 81% waste 4. Lead – 97.5% waste 5. Gold – 99.999999% waste Processing/Refining use a lot of energy and water o Produce – dirty water and air 11/16/11 Environmental Impact 1. Energy Use – find, mining and processing material U.S Steel Industry – uses as mych energy as 90 million homes 2. Land Disruption – In U.S – 500,000 mines – surface and subsurface Reclamation is only required for coal mines Surface mine scaring Underground – collapse, fires (from coal burning) 3. Water Pollution - Toxic and acid mine runoff In U.S, 40% of all watersheds 4. Air Pollution – In U.S, 50% of all toxic air emissions from mining and smelting
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