Mining is a lucrative business for the companies that are extracting the resources.
Mining also wreaks havoc on the environment.
“Mining firms are not only attracted to developing countries in Africa because of mineral riches – they are also attracted to the countries because of lower safety and environmental standards. To establish a mine vegetation is cleared. This causes deforestation, and a loss of biodiversity which has an impact on locals. Another largely ungoverned environmental concern is the pollution caused by mining through leakage and tailings dumping. Tailings are left-over materials from mining and are often dumped in rivers causing metals contamination. Several African mines have also experienced cyanide leaks – the deadly poison is used to extract gold. Rivers and dams are re-routed to create exposed riverbeds for mining which has a detrimental effect on fish and wildlife that use rivers for sustenance. Open-pit mines are eventually abandoned and fill up with stagnant water which becomes infested with mosquitos. These sites are ideal breeding areas for malaria and other deadly diseases,” as explained by Mining in Africa.