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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF LIMESTONE MINING

10,000

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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF LIMESTONE MINING

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

  • Background of the study

The quarry industry of many countries constitutes less than 5% of their GDP. Despite this, the economic and social impacts of quarrying are very widespread. Limestone quarries produce two main products: dimension stone and aggregate. Dimension stone is cut by rotary saws in areas where the rock is freestone. Aggregate quarries extract either gravel sediments or rock which is highly cemented and compacted that can only be won by blasting the rock using explosives.

Transport costs are high for quarry products (products are low-value but have significant bulk). These factors constrain quarries to locate proximal to the market. As a result, there has been a global proliferation of small-to-medium sized regional quarry industries within economic distance of urban centres. Most of the market for limestone quarry products is therefore, limited to local construction industry.

A new scenario is now developing as a result of the forces of Globalisation, the development of customs unions in many parts of the world (EU, NAFTA) and improved forms of transportation. Quarrying industries presently serving regional or local markets have to compete with the more efficient companies operating superquarries. The location of superquarries is less constrained by distance to the market, which increases their freedom to locate in areas with superior rock quality, giving them a comparative advantage over small-scale quarrying enterprises. These developments may  have significant economic and social impacts on small nations (which usually have a limited geological resource base). These countries may become economically disadvantaged when their strategic quarry industries decline as a result of an increase in the importation of products from superquarries. This may also result in a change or adjustment of their traditional building methods and eventual modification of their cultural landscape.

Quarries serving a regional market are now also increasingly being perceived as nuisances. Throughout the centuries, quarrying had survived in relative harmony with other land uses. These circumstances have now changed, especially for small quarry operations dependent on nearby markets, because Planners have not controlled the growth of settlements and urban sprawl very close to quarries. In many countries, planning regulations do not address the problem of ground vibrations resulting from rock blasting and its effect on nearby structures. Regulations should consider special construction methods and prohibit the use of extensive fill in constructions close to quarries.

 

Like all other industrial processes, the environmental impact of limestone quarrying has to be assessed in terms of its effects on air quality,  groundwater, ecology, and its impact on the quality of life around the quarry. Quarrying invariably destroys the ecology of the excavated site, but the environmental impact of limestone quarries is more easily recoverable compared to some other industrial land uses. Dust emissions from limestone quarries are a nuisance but do not constitute  a  health hazard. The level of quarry noise and vibrations is another environmental problem that relates to the rock extraction technique used. Limestone quarries do not contaminate groundwater, but may alter groundwater flow.

  • Statement of the problem

There may have been previous researches in this subject. This work gives further explanations and analysis in environmental impact of limestone mining

 

  • Objectives of the study
  1. To understand the impact of limestone on the environment
  2. To understand the relationship between limestone and environmental and public health development.

 

  • Research questions
  1. What is the impact of To understand the impact of limestone on the environment
  • What is the relationship between relationship between limestone and environmental and public health development.

 

  • Research hypothesis

H0: There is no relationship between relationship between limestone and environmental and public health development.

H1: There is a relationship between relationship between limestone and environmental and public health development.

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