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Essay: Environmental pollution by mining

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Environmental pollution by mining has become a global phenomenon. In present days, degradation of the environment is increasing at an alarming rate. The major cause of pollution is urbanization and industrialization. Increase in production and the opening of new mines does generate pressure on environmental attributes. This research work is based on a study of the impact due to mining in Rajasthan which is today neglected or avoided. The importance of the bio-physical environment is affected by one or more combination of human induce processes performing upon the land is called as Land degradation. Mining of minerals, is an environmentally unfriendly activity, has attracted attention from the standpoint of environmental impacts and their mitigation.

Mining is the process of extracting metals and minerals from the earth. Mining of minerals from the earth crust, become an environmentally unfriendly and disturbing activity, have attracted attention from the point of view of environmental impacts and their mitigation. Mining process is closely linked to forestry and environmental issues.

India has major resources of Limestone, Marble, Granite, Sandstone, Kota stone, Quartzite & Slate. South India is the one of largest resources of Granite and Marble deposits are largely in Western India (Rajasthan & Gujarat).

The mining sector is the pre-eminent sector after the agriculture. Mining is the second largest industry in Rajasthan, 2.5 million people getting employment and generating over 8 billion rupees in government profits each year. Due to increased demand has led by intensification of the quarry at the existing marble quarry. Increase in production of decorative stone and the opening of a new meaning does generate pressure on the environment and surrounding. The environmental degradation of the land and pollution due to stone mining is much less than the environmental degradation caused by the waste from processing plants. There are several problems created due to mining as large scale land transformations, unscientific mining, unsegregated waste dump, incompatible land uses and improper waste disposal which also lead to land degradation, ponding and flood of water, visual impact, loss of aesthetics, pollution health and safety hazards.

As the stone industry in district Chittorgarh constitutes one of the most important pillars of the national economy in one hand, and hugh amount of stone waste generated by mining industry, mainly stone slurry on other hand.

Now a days mining has become a global problem and UNESCO has included mining in one of the fourteen Man and Biosphere projects keeping in view its impact on both the natural environment and human population over a very broad area. Exploration, extraction, processing, and post closer operations are the different stages of mining, by mining exert pressure on environment

This Mining industry comprises (1) establishments primarily engaged in developing the mine site, mining or quarrying dimension stone (i.e., rough blocks and/or slabs of stone), or mining and quarrying crushed and broken stone and/or (2) preparation plants primarily engaged in beneficiating stone (e.g., crushing, grinding, washing, screening, pulverizing, and sizing).

There are mainly two types of mining: Open-cast or surface mining and Underground mining. In the Surface mining, the minerals or rocks that are to be mined are showing at the surface or very close to the surface of the earth’s crust. To extract the materials, Previously the miners used to dig an open-pit on the surface and then excavate the materials. But now-a-days, top soil removed by Giant Earthmovers and the rocks, material and stone is extracted out.

Another type Open pit process is the easiest and the cheapest way to mine materials that are close to the surface, large open holes are dug in the ground. Sometimes, large blocks are got bu used of explosives.

In Chittorgarh District the main cause of environmental pollution is mines, dust, particulates and stone crusher dust. Due to mining destruction of soil structure occur which also include loss of organic matter of the soil. The mining of natural resources among the various physical and biological factors is one of the major causes which create considerable environmental pollution.

Another fact about the mining is that it is a site specific activity mining is done only where mineral exist and land is no use for other purpose per and post mining time. A framework of sustainable development will be designed which take on biodiversity issue and ensure that mining activity, take place along with the suitable measure for the restoration of ecological balance. Mining lease not provided to any company, party (private or public) without a proper mining plan.

The instant image of mining is of a dirty, harmful and environmentally destructive industry. The report of Centre for Science and Environment’s Sixth State of India’s Environment, “Rich Lands, Poor People” – Is sustainable mining possible? Says unregulated legal mining and uncontrolled illegal mining in Rajasthan have systematically destroyed forests, devastated the Aravallis, and played havoc with the water resources of the state.

One of the major waste generating industries is the quarry and production industry by which around 70% of this valuable mineral resource is wasted in the mining, processing, and polishing procedures. During quarrying operations around 40% of waste is generated world widely in the form of rock fragments and being dumped either in nearby empty pits, roads, river beds, pasturelands, agricultural fields, or landfills, leading to wide distribution, environmental pollution. However, since most of the quarry process in India is not well equipped as far as mechanization is concerned, the percentage of waste, as generated during quarrying of blocks can be estimated at 60%. This waste includes unusual blocks of various sizes and shapes, discarded blocks and rock fragments produced during trimming and shaping of mine out blocks before dispatch to processing units.

The waste generation by mining industries varies widely from 30% by weight (in mechanized Mining using a wire saw cutting methods for extraction of blocks) to 65% by weight (at Mining where manual mining is resorted to and the rocks are fractured). The slurry generate during processing can be estimated at about 10% of the total stone quarried (20% to 25% of the block as received from the quarries), and during polishing as 5% to 7%. 5-6 million tones, slurry generated per year.

Waste during quarrying by mechanized processes can be estimated at 30% to 40% of the production. The waste percentage of 60% to 70% occurs by the Conventional quarrying techniques of blasting which leads to uncontrolled stripping of vegetation cover and follows soil erosion. Dust generated during quarrying can also cover surrounding areas leading to vegetation disappeared and die-off and adversely affecting the fertility and quality of top soil.

The processing waste from cutting plants comes out in the form of “Slurry”. This slurry is being dumped by the processing units at the nearest site available or in notified areas marked for dumping near the plants. When this slurry dries up, it leads to serious environmental pollution and on other hand slurry imposes serious threats to the ecosystem of the nearby area.

Stone slurry leads several environmental problems some are listed below:

1) Open land affects adversely the productivity of the soil when slurry dumped on it. As it reduces the porosity and prevents ground water recharge.

2) When slurry dumped in the area soil don’t support vegetation.

3) After drying, the finer fraction of slurry becomes air-borne and causes serious air pollution, which are not only dangerous to human beings but also to vegetation and machinery.

Surrounding environment affects by the various ways whether mining open castor underground, which have directly or indirectly affects the crops, animal and human life adversely and nearby area. Water absorption and water percolation, productivity affects adversely due to decreased porosity, when slurry dumped on the land. The area where Slurry is dumped that areas cannot support any vegetation and remain degraded for many years. The change in physic-chemical properties of soil leads to infertility or barren soil that does not support normal growth of vegetation for years (Jha and Singh, 1991).

The change in properties of soil is in turn related to the reduced crop production. Rajkurana and Baker, 2004 resulted that the high heavy metal concentration in the mining area was adversely affecting the plant growth as a result the sparse vegetation and barren land.

Health and well being of the people living in and around the mining complexes gets affected by the mining activity and due to the pollutants in the air and water, noise and vibrations and their life get disturbed. The people working in the mining and their related activity also get affected by the workplace environment, which can cause various problems, e.g., skin problems, lung diseases, deafening, etc.

The open cast mining result in a constant decline of cultivated and green area, because as it involves the removal of surface soil and over exploited to excavate the mineral deposits lying under the surface of the earth. Open-cast mining therefore, changes the complete ecosystem.

In future, mining is also responsible for, soil erosion, deforestation, land subsidence, air, water and noise pollution. Mining has significant effect on the air and water, loss of biodiversity, soil pollution and land Degradation (Kumar, 1996).

However, as mining progresses, the destruction of ecosystem with different ways and continues, which resulted in soil deterioration. Mining has a major environmental contamination which is dust particulate. During the stone cutting process about 25% the original mass is lost in the form of dust, which is not further use but lead to environmental pollution. Formation of dust occurs due to processing of mining, which is suspended in the air and which is inhaled by the workers with respiration. An epidemiological study indicates that workers exposed to dust have a high risk of suffering from asthma symptoms, chronic bronchitis, nasal inflammation and impairment of lung function.

When slurry dried, the fine particles as dust become airborne and cause severe air pollution. During the rainy season, the slurry is a flows to rivers, drains and local water bodies, which affects the quality of water, reducing storage capacities and damaging aquatic life and water become polluted and less suitable. No gases realeses by chemical compounds during cutting process, that responsible to global warming and climate changes as water can be used in the cutting process to detain (capture) dust. The fine particles of the dust can cause more pollution than other forms of waste if not stored properly in sedimentation tanks, and further utilized. Under some atmospheric conditions, such as wind and rain the fine particles can be easily dispersed after losing humidity. The white dust particles usually contain CaCO3 and thus can cause visual pollution.

The health of the mine workers get affected by air and noise pollution due to mining activity. Chauhan 2001, told that noise due to blasting accompanied by deforestation affected the habitat of the tiger and other wild animals in the Sariska Tiger Reserve.

According to the World Health Organization, all forms of asbestos cause cancer, with chrysotile asbestos increasing the risk of cancer. This is a major health risk for workers, especially since these illegal Mining does not provide safety equipments or compensation in case of accidents or deaths occur during mining process.

Some significant minerals, which are under forest cover is a significant part of the nation’s known reserves. Further, mining activity is an intervention (interference) in the environment and has the likely to disturb the ecological balance of the area. However, the needs of economic development make the extraction of the nation’s mineral resources an important priority for the development of the area. A framework of sustainable development will be designed which can handle of biodiversity issues and to ensure that mining activity in that area takes place along with appropriate measures for restoration of the ecological balance. Another fact about mining is a site specific activity and is only an intermediate can use of the land because mining is done at the sites where the minerals exist and the land is of no use for the mining companies in the pre and post mining activity.

The roots of the problem lies in two key factors: mining companies’ former behavior and legislation. In the past the mining companies have consistently considered the rehabilitation of the quarries as an issue of minor importance. Therefore, the attempts to restore the quarry sites were not carefully planned and many important parameters such as the socioeconomic, cultural and historical aspects of the particular area were often neglected. Moreover, legislation has strongly supported the restoration of the abandoned quarries by means of backfilling and re-vegetation, a practice that has proved to be ineffective and in some cases has further aggravated the problem. Re-vegetation cannot be effectively applied in marble quarries because:

  • The smooth and flat surfaces of the benches, that wire-saw cutting produces are subjected to soil erosion.
  • The hard surface of the marble hinders the development of an adequate root system and the plants eventually shrivel.
  • The climatic conditions deteriorate the above conditions

It is becoming apparent (clear) by all parties involved that the term restoration does not reflect reality, nor should it be linked with re-vegetation. The very meaning of the word restore is wrong. After the mining activity many parameters, like the original contour of the landscape, have completely changed and it is impossible to restore the original conditions.

The planting of trees is bound to fail, when the surrounding area is predominately arid and vegetation is scarce. The alternative approach that has been gaining supporters is rehabilitation. By definition rehabilitation modifies the site with a view to establishing new land-uses. When rehabilitation is applied, it takes into consideration the needs of the local community, urban planning and the characteristics of the area. Furthermore, the final plan for rehabilitation allows for a diversity and ecosystem of needs to be fulfilled and can be both feasible and acceptable by all parties.


The ground water recharge and original water resources of the area affected by water logging which is creates by the mining activity.

Unsustainable quarrying for over four decades has created a severe scarcity of drinking water for humans and livestock in the quarrying area. The porosity and permeability of the topsoil are reduced tremendously and due to the course of time pass it results occur in the form of water logging problems at the surface and thereby not allowed the water to percolate down. When & where it has happened the ground water level had adversely been affected and it has gone down to deeper levels.

Surface water quality and quantity get disturbed by pouring & situation of excavated materials and byproducts of mining and related activities, while infiltration and GW withdrawal disturbed ground water (GW) quality and quantity. During rainy seasons the runoff water from the surrounding area of the mining may carry with it a large quantity of suspended solids into the nearby water bodies.

Releases of toxic chemicals into the water are obviously harmful for the flora and fauna of the water bodies. Besides the pollution, mining processes are requiring high quantity water from nearby water sources. For example, water is used to wash impurities from the limestone, marble mines. The result is that the water content of the river, dam from which water is being used gets reduced. Aquatic lives are getting disturbed and organisms in these water bodies do not have enough water for their survival.

High levels of pollutants mainly organic matter in river water cause of increase in biological oxygen demand (Kulkarni 1997), chemical oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids and fecal coil form. From time to time the liquid waste, mostly slurry that is generated after the metals or minerals have been extracted is disposed in a mining pit. As the pit become a stagnant pool of water, when it filled up by the mine tailings and other waste. This becomes the breeding ground for waterborne diseases causing agent as insects and organisms like mosquitoes to flourish. This is the most direct and hazardous impact of the mining industry.

Previous record told us that Chittorgarh city is getting choked due to slurry being dumped in Chhatriwali khaan, an abandoned mine since 2004. “Today, the result of such planned dumping is clear. The area’s groundwater is unfit for drinking and cooking and food cooked in such water exactly churns the stomach. The Government Higher Secondary School at Senti, a nearby village, had the Public Health Engineering Department laboratory test its groundwater. The level of total dissolved solids was found to be 5,040 milligram per liter (mg/l) when the acceptable limit is 500-1,500 mg/l. Total hardness (calcium carbonate) was 2,550 mg/l when the acceptable limit is 200-600 mg/l),” says the report.


Air environment gets disturbed by blasting, excavation, transportation and dumping of excavated out products normally and especially in the dry season by getting the lighter ones blown-up by wind. The waste, which is dumped on the land dries out and the fine dust suspends in the air and slowly disperse out through winds to the nearby area.

Workers of the mining and quarries have a high-risk group. They inhale mine dust particles (varying in sizes from 0.1 microns to 150 microns). 40 to 50 years is the average estmitaed life of a quarry wroker. Silicosis, “the killer disease” (common name is Pneumoconiosis which is a type of Occupational Lung Disease) and tuberculosis (or silico-tuberculosis) is the result of inhalation and deposition of silica particles in the lungs, in which leads to pulmonary fibrosis and premature death. Many other organs other than of lungs also have adverse effect due to dust. Cardiovascular diseases is related to dust exposure which is showed in several studies . There are a potential association between occupational exposure to dust and ischemic heart disease.

Air pollutants mainly dust from the stone mining form thin layer of deposition over the nearby agriculture field. Dust emissions tend to affects animals, vegetation and agriculture field of neighbouring area, although the exact effects still need to be more extensively researched. (Netherlands Committee for IUCN, 1996).

According to an Indian study it is observed that the capacity for photosynthesis and growth of plants are reduced due to dust falling on agricultural crops or tree leaves (Raj. date unknown). Dust problems by the stone mining are particularly occurs in dry areas such as Rajasthan. when produces dust airbore disease increased by the concentration of SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) level is rise in the surrounding air due to removal of vegetation from the area selected for mining and other purposes. The concentration of SPM level can also in the atmosphere increase during Removal, handling, transportation and storage of soils. The level of NOx in atmosphere can increase due to use of diesel equipment in these activities.

Any protective equipment like goggle for their eyes are not used by the quarry workers, only 5.9% covering their nostrils, while only 12.3% use overalls. The exposure of dust affects the health of these people.


Anand, 2006 told that one of the biggest negative impacts of quarrying on the environment is the damage of biodiversity. Destruction of crops or grazing land due to disturbance of soil or vegetation is the short term impacts on agricultural land and long term effects include on agricultural capability which can reduce productivity. When dust deposited on the photo -synthetically active part of a plant the growth of vegetation is reduced. Loss of habitat, dead plants and animal resulting from direct contact with exploration equipment and supplies (vehicles, bulldozers, chemicals, waste); introduction of unknown species; disturbance of behaviors (e.g. Breeding) and hunting or bush meat trade are the major impacts on biodiversity.

The forest areas are habitat for a large number of organisms which are cleared for mining purposes. If indiscriminate (random) clearing of the forests occurs which leads to loss of habitat for large number of animals by this number of animals is decreasing further which is responsible for environmental unbalance. This leads to the survival of a large number of animal species at stake (risk). The cutting down of trees are one of the biggest threat to a number of plants, trees, birds and animals growing in the forest area. Some direct effect on biodiversity is:

  • Loss and degradation of indigenous vegetation and ecosystems
  • Loss of habitat for threatened or protected species
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Loss of species


Land is one of the most important resources for the human beings that are needed for all the activities. During the mining and blasting different type of waste generate as dust, rubbish, drains which are dumped directly on soil by which composition of soils is changed and quality decreased. On other hand blasting and explosion activities in the open pit mining cause throwing rocks into the nearby lands and they become rocky agriculture land and this rocky land further cannot use for agricultural activity in that area.

Mining activities both underground as well as open-cast methods affect the land in various ways as slurry acquires dries very quickly because water absorption and moisture content properties are very low. Mining contribute to harmful effects too much on lands and crops due to water logging. pH of slurry is 9.1 which make it alkaline. The major impact of slurry is erosion on top fertile soil cover. The slurry could lead in the long run to water clogging of the soil, to increase soil alkalinity, and to interference of photosynthesis and transpiration. The net effects of slurry are as reduction of soil fertility, plant productivity, disturbance of photosynthesis and transpiration.

Mining requires large areas of land to be cleared so that the earth could be dug by the miners. By this reason, large-scale deforestation occurs in those areas where mining has to be done. After the clearing mining area, vegetation of the neighboring areas also needs to be cut to construct roads and residential facilities for the mine workers. The human population brings along with it other activities that harm the environment. Therefore, mining is one of the major causes of deforestation; land degradation which adversely affects productivity of land, water absorption, and water percolation.

The mining area may be small, but the area where the wastes are being dumped isto be view. Everywhere we can find a great man-made mount of waste materials because there is no proper planning for waste disposal. The overburden and non-commercial stone waste and other waste pieces were carelessly disposed over forest, grass and agricultural lands. This was leading to the degradation of fertile land. (Vinod Agarwal and Mukesh Jagetia, 2000).

The deforestation has long-term effects which are occurred by surface mining, even when the soil is replaced and trees are planted after mine make deactivate. The new species that might be introduced have possible impact on the composition of the topsoil and that will determine soil fertility and fallow period for certain crops. Erosion occurs when surface vegetation is depleted, which leads to deterioration in the capability of the land for agricultural activities and loss of habitat for birds and other animals. Akabzaa and Darimani, 2001 indicate that this has degenerated into the destruction of the luxuriant plant life, biodiversity, cultural sites and water bodies.


The mining and associated activities in the mining activity not only pollute the air, but also pollute the noise environment. Noise can interfere with human well being such as hearing, sleep and speech and can cause stress-related diseases such as hypertension. According to an estimation, an air compressor makes 83 to 85 dB and a jack hammer drill makes 79-100 dB. The intensity of noise generated by the wire-saw and gang-saw machines is also very high which contribute to noise pollution. There are several negative effects on sensitive animal species (e.g. Crocodile deaths) due to blasting and vibrations. Wildlife have negative impacts, particularly at night due to noise and lights of the mining and associated activities.


It is generally believed that all the activities the human beings do is for the benefit of the society. Hence, there are several impacts of the human activities, especially of mining and associated activities, on the society suppose a great importance. Mining and related activities cause the following impacts on the society:

For open-cast as well as underground mining, which is required to clear the surface of the buildings and structures along with the vegetations and forest area not only the selected area for mining purposes, but also in large area nearby which is required for making external dumps which produce during quarry and placing associated activities. Therefore, all the people living in this area get displaced.

The ethnic (tribal) people living in the designated areas are depending generally for their livelihood and economic value of the land, so mining areas the land is taken for mining and associated activities these people lose their livelihood.

Lower level of economic position occure which societies dependent on agriculture and forests. The level of the economic activities increases in such areas due to the development of industrial and other associated activities like mining. Increased industrial and economic activities generate more money for the tribal people and other and also increase the buying power of the people directly and indirectly associated with these mining activities. Mining directly leads to an increase in the cost of living, which negatively affects the other people, including ethnic people, who are not associated with these activities.

Mining either open-cast or underground methods damages the water regime (system) of that area and thus causes a reduction in the overall availability of water in and around the mining areas. The water table and aquifers are damaged in the mining areas by which the availability of water from these sources reduces.

The mining and associated activities offer opportunities of employment to the eligible people from the tribal population of that area by which they can increase living standards. The Project Affected People (PAPs) are given jobs and are trained for self employment as a result of the provisions in the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R & R) schemes. Due to developmental activities and the mineral based activities in and around the mine area People are also getting employment.

Industrial and economic activities in mining complexes bring about economic difference among the population living in the complexes. The people employed in the organized activities usually earn more than those employed from otherwise. This economic difference leads to the increases of frustrations in the poorer class of the people.


Mining constitute a major hazard to man and the environment. Valaiya, 1990 explained that mining damages 20 times the lease area, including forest land, pasture land and agricultural fields by way of overburden deposits and drainage. although mining generates employment, but also workers become disabled at the age of 40 due to mining related diseases, air, water, and noise pollution. In the families surveyed, more than 75 per cent workers suffer from some disease. There are number of workers reported those are mine workers after working in mines for few years who become physically handicapped and invalid to work at the age of 42 to 45 years.

Working hours of the mining for labours are not fixed. The timing differs during peak summer and winter and monsoon. There are difficult to judge how many hours in a day workers are working in the mines. Child labor is common on many of the quarries. Children may be involved in these mining activities such as debris cleaning, etc. Female workers are involved in the process. Male workers are mainly involved in slicing and lifting whilst female workers are engaged in clearing of debris/scrap and filling the trolley. Some female workers are involved in filling of drinking water on the mine site.

Many quarry operators are not aware whether their operations come under the category of Orange or Red or Green Category as per the Pollution Control Board norms. (Green – Non Polluting Industry, Orange –Industry is creating some amount of Pollutants, Red – Extremely Polluting Industry).

Table No. 1: Face of the mining Industry in Rajasthan

People Engaged in Mining Industry of Rajasthan

Human Population of the State 49.7 Million

Total Workforce in Mining Sector 2.5 million

Dalits and Tribals 95%

Women Workers 37%

Child labor 15%

Annual Accidental Deaths 460

Deaths Silicosis, Tuberculosis, etc. 3 daily

Daily Wage (8-10 hours work)

Male Rs. 50-70/-

Female Rs. 35-55/-

Children Rs. 25-35/-

Literacy in Mine workers 0.8%

Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rampant (out of control)

Social Security Absent

Rajasthan is the major producer of minerals in India. Rajasthan is the richest state in the country with regards to mineral deposits both in quality and quantity. More than 95% of mining activities in Rajasthan fall in the domain of the unorganized sector. The state is the most important center (Mandi) of processing in the country with about 95% of the total processing units (Table 2). Rajasthan possesses large reserves of about 1100 million tonnes (M.T) of good quality mineral.

Fig: 1 Rajasthan’s share in Indian Stone production

Table No. 2: Various types of stones mined in Rajasthan


In districts of Nagaur, Udaipur, Banswara, Jaipur, Sirohi, Bhilwara, Ajmer, Bundi, Pali, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Jaisalmer and Sikar, Rajsamand, Alwar.

Colour & Pattern Snow white, Creamish white, White with grayish/ black bands and Wavy patterns, pink, pink bluish bands, green, yellow, black, multi-color etc.

Number of mining leases About 3660

Quarry Production in 2007-08 13684 million Tons

Geological Reserve 1144 million Tons

Slabs Processing Capacity 1000 million sq.ft.p.a.

Tile Processing Capacity 300 million sq.ft.p.a.

Export varieties Snow white – very fine grained, green and pink. Indian green is highly priced and is the most desired marble in demand the world over

Exports in 2013-14 Rs.1889 million

Rajasthan has the second largest mineral reserves in the country. Rajasthan produces 42 varieties of major minerals and 23 varieties of minor minerals. Presently 1324 mining leases of major minerals, 10851 mining leases of minor minerals and 19251 quarry licenses are in force. Out of 32 districts of the state, 17 districts possess deposits of marble in the form of either extensive or small deposits.

Mining providing employment to 2.5 million people and generating over 8 billion rupees in government revenue each year because mining is the second largest industry in Rajasthan. Rajasthan has thousands of unorganized mines, which can be as small as one-twentieth of a hectare. They fall out of the purview of government control and there are no accounts of these mines.

Scope of the thesis:

To begin with, it should be stated that this thesis brings to a focus environmental issues related to mainly stone mining since it is a key field of the mining industry in Chittorgarh District. Additionally, the scope of the research is limited principally by the assessment of risks posed by tailings impoundments and waste dumps, although it also encompasses environmental impacts of the mining industry in general.

Objective of Research Study:

  1. To assess the impact due to mining on surface and ground water of the study area.
  2. To assess the effect of due to mining on air and land environment.
  3. To determine the noise pollution in the mining area.
  4. To explore the possible impact on flora and fauna due to mining.
  5. To assess the impact on the social economic environment of the mining area.
  6. To assess the impact due to waste generation on the environment.
  7. To assess the impact due to mining on the health & safety of workers.

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