Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Capitalism – The Driving Force for Decision Making in Mining Industry Essay


  1. Introduction.Africa is considered to be the universe richest continent in mineral resources. Africa has two tierce of world’s Pt and phosphate, world’s half Co, gold, aluminum and Cr and last but non the least, 80 % of world’s diamonds and manganese ( Hermanus, 2012 ) . Africa has the population of about 1 Billion scattered in 61 states and province. Equally far as socioeconomic statistics are concerned, Africa is ranked lowest in Human Development Index ( HDI ) . More than half of the population lives below the poorness line. 153 million people are illiterate and they account 20 % of planetary nonreader grownups. Due to the less technological and industrial promotions in the continent, agribusiness and excavation are the two professions which are the pivot of all economic activities. With the current socioeconomic statistics, understanding of nucleus issues by the people of Africa is highly ambitious. Employees in excavation sector do non cognize about the basic human rights, statute law and associated hazards in excavation industry. The consequence of this quandary is seen in hapless wellness and safety conditions, unnoticed environmental jeopardies due to excavation and deficiency of consciousness in practising safe processs in excavation.

There are legion issues attached with excavation and the environment which are negatively influencing people. Africa is considered to be the richest in mineral resources. Mining and mineral extraction normally contributes significantly in the economic growing of the state, but on the other manus it is the beginning of environmental decrepitude every bit good. Major countries of excavation induced amendss are resource ingestion, waste production, irreversible decrepitude of dirt and ambiance. South Africa, with its biodiversity, has significant effects on environment due to excavation and its related activities. In 2010, South Africa entire C dioxide emanations were listed in top 20 worldwide and the 80 % of entire emanations were due to firing of fuel, oil and gas and basic resources activity including excavation and mineral processing ( Bannister, 2014 ) . Enforcing C revenue enhancement by the South African authorities is the same losing nexus in the concatenation. It may cut down the on the job capital of excavation industry by 19 % but can be a measure towards salvaging the planet and do it livable for future. Two cardinal larning points ( KLP’s ) are discussed in the paper which has the marked impacts on environment apart from the others. Capitalism is the chief drive force behind every determination devising. It has overlooked the importance of future impacts on environment which will be faced by the following coevalss. Second the interlinking of all environmental effects to a bigger image of clime alteration and how it is set uping the complete domain of life.

  1. Capitalism vs. Mining & A ; Biodiversity – Prisoner’s DelimmaBiodiversity or biological diverseness means “the variegation and assortment of animate being, workss and other life beings / species in a peculiar country or part ( biodiversity definition, 2008 ) .The populating beings interact with the non life beings and the term eco system originate what refers to mutualities between the life and non life beings. It besides refers to a big measure or figure of different species populating together at the same clip in a specific part. It is the delicate balance of all the natural environmental systems which are interlinked together. God has made the existence on a delicate balance. Earth has the most stable ecological systems in our solar system which is right for the being of world. Venus has mean temperature of +420 grades whereas Mars has mean temperature -50 grades. It is the lone planet Earth whose mean temperature is +15 grades centigrade ( shwaibold, 2014 ) . The chief ground of the balanced temperature of the planet Earth is the being diversified species or biological diverseness. The mechanism is interlinked with all other mechanisms of universe like C dioxide rhythm, nitrogen rhythm, H2O rhythm etc. If we talk about the pollution, so it is the subset of biodiversity as it is one of the major cause of biodiversity loss.

South Africa is universe 3rdrichest state in biodiversity ( Riet, 2007 ) . South Africa has globally recognized hot spots like ness floristic, the Succulent Karoo and Maputaland-Pondoland parts. South Africa is bounded from three sides to ocean and it provides a huge scope of marine home ground excessively. Due to unawareness on environmental issues, 34 % of tellurian systems, 82 % of bluish H2O and 65 % of Marine bio zones are adversely affected. Mining is spotted as the most effecting activity among industrial pollution, urbanisation and emanations of GHG’s. Although the mineral extraction country is rather little but all the associated activities covers a major part in upseting the environment e.g substructure development, pollution from mining induced activities, H2O purification, its usage and impacts, preservation of dirt, wetlands, ariable lands and hydrologic rhythm etc. By simply seeing the direct impact on the country, it appears to be really little but if we consider the indirect impacts so it comes to complect with all the systems of nature. In South Africa there are certain countries which are considered to be the hot spots for biodiversity. South African national Biodiversity Institute has classified the countries harmonizing to the menace degree ( Holness, 2014 ) .not all countries are equal in biodiversity thresholds. There are biodiversities precedences countries in which excavation is the last resort. But there are four classs of biodiversity precedences countries. In these countries there should be a important ground for extraction the minerals. For that ground inside informations environmental impact appraisal is done to transport out the analysis. This analysis is undertaken to compare that is it truly of import to mine that country? And is it in the national involvement of the state to pull out the minerals? If it is so more strict environmental appraisals are done and detailed surveies are carried out to cut down the impacts and take them within acceptable bounds. We can integrate biodiversity in all stages of mining rhythm to cut down the impacts because biodiversity is non a restraint for the excavation activity. Merely a elaborate and good thought out planning can extenuate the impacts. Another dimension is to utilize the best available information for the impact appraisal. There are certain stages of excavation rhythms. What all information we have used in the beginning is might be the approximative conjecture of future suspected impact. With the transition of clip, all this information needs to be re evaluated at every measure of mining rhythm. After the rhenium rating, it needs to be adjusted to the current fluctuations. Normally this pattern does non take topographic point in most of the instances. Once the environmental impact appraisal is done, so all of the planning is done on the same information which, in most instances, has some fluctuation. MPRDA and NEMA are the guidelines for the mineral extraction and environmental impacts and nil to make with the modus oprendi of the excavation rhythm.

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There are certain hot spots forSsouth Africa in bio diverseness restricted countries. Certain countries are threatened to a degree where its hard to avoid any harm to biodiversity ( NISL, 2013 ) .

Area ( Km.Km )


% Endemics













Eastern mountain




Capital of new york




Succelent Karoo












Fig 1. Hot spots of South Africa

There are two topographic points in South Africa, Cape and Succulent Karoo which have about 5000 and 8000 species with 40 and 80 species which are specific to these countries. These countries are extremely sensitive to excavation. For excavation and prospecting there are Torahs and statute law which is present in state. It is need of clip that biodiversity direction should look into multidirectional attack to defy the pressured on biodiversity e.g in USA National Environmental Policy Act requires federal bureaus to document, analyse, and measure the important impacts on nature. Furthermore, ESA ( Endangered Species Act ) requires that if the excavation of any associated activity may consequence the endangered species in that country. ESA is a tool to protect the endangered species and is normally done before the blessing of the federal bureaus in USA ( Rajaram, 2005 ) . This act is a shield against the endangered species and act as a bi merchandise, Jesus of biodiversity.

It is the treatment of the twenty-four hours that whether excavation is the trade off for human being ( in the long tally ) and the human nutriment? In South Africa it is the trade off between coal and nutrient ( cultivable land ) in Mpumalaga Province. In Karoo Region it is the war between Shale Gas vs. H2O. In USA Everglades, the comparing is being thought between agribusiness and stone excavation. In Australia it is between manganese and sacred dirt ( two adult females sitting down ) . South Africa 77 % of power coevals is based on coal ( Publishers, 2014 ) . And 28 % from fossil fuels including oil, gas and biomass.











South Africa











Fig 2. South Africa Export of Electricity

The major part of coal is extracted from Mpumalanga. South Africa besides exports electricity to the African states. What can be the trade off or a paradigm displacement for the economic system ( index mundi, 2014 ) ? The firing inquiry in this respects is what is the wage off of extraction?

Figure 3. Direct and Indirect Effect equilibrium

In Direct Impact important countries are Loss and harm to ecosystems, loss of home ground, loss of species, alteration of available and belowground H2O system whereas indirect impacts are consequence on H2O quality downstream ( Olifant river and Vaal river ) , displacement effects of biodiversity. It is estimated that up to 35 Billion US $ are required for station mine closing for USA and 30 Million US $ for Australia ( Abiye, 2014 ) . In south Africa, Olifant river catchment country receives 50 million liters per twenty-four hours and merely coal mines decant in Witbank is 62 MLPD. Amount of biodiversity loss due to direct impacts of this coal mine decant is tremendous. The trade off between the picks are whether to bring forth electricity and reserve it for the domestic usage or do maximal extraction of coal and do maximal electricity for export intents every bit good. If we are ready to change over on renewable energy resources as comparable to char so it would be a paradigm displacement for the environmental protection. Since South Africa is rated highest in C emanations in Africa, demand is to pass and implement the jurisprudence for preservation of planet. South Africa is in the prisoner’s quandary where the state is trapped between “Extract or don’t Extract” pick. Country‘s economic driver is on excavation and 8.8 % of GDP consists of mining whereas if we include the indirect activities related to mining so it becomes about 18 % . ( Government, 2014 ) . Switching to the epoch does non look to be easy. Mining induced activities are the chief drivers for the environmental debasement in Biodiversity and H2O pollution. Nature has made its systems to refill the lacks itself till the clip it is non done on uninterrupted footing. 2.5 centimeter of top dirts is formed in about 500 old ages to organize through a complete dirt formation procedure. Whereas, 24 billion Tonss of dirt is lost every twelvemonth to eroding. The rate of devastation is more than the building. Similar illustration is carbon revenue enhancement in south Africa. Carbon revenue enhancement was foremost introduced in 2010 and after certain accommodations it will be implemented in 2015 ( Bannister, Burning Question, 2014 ) . The Floor monetary value is R 120 per ton of CO2. In South Africa US $ 5.5 Billion are invested in cleaner energy in 2012 which is the fastest rate of investing growing worldwide. The revenue enhancement is automatically reduced 60 % as the excavation sector norm and the figures drops to R 48 per ton. We can plot the wage offs in wage off matrix.

Government Carbon Tax

No Government Carbon Tax

Mining Sector Pays Carbon revenue enhancement in add-on of environmental amendss as per NEMA

5 % ROE

19 % runing income

R 30 Billion for authorities and more

5 % ROE

19 % Operating income

Government Grosss

Mining Sector pays merely environmental amendss as per statute law

5 % ROE

19 % Operaing income

Government gets merely environmental amendss listed in NEMA

All is favour of excavation sector and authorities gets merely environmental amendss as per NEMA

Figure 4.Pay Off Matrix ( Game Theory ) for Government and Minig sector

Is it in the favor of both participants that one should play on lose- lose state of affairss? If Government legislate the C revenue enhancement, it will be over and above the EMP, and Environmental direction programme. So no company would let its runing income to be reduced by 19 % or more in current political environments where work stoppages, mine closing, public violences and demands for more excavation rights for employees is at hand. Government besides wants the grosss to be increased which will be transferred to the hapless. Mining companies are already under the load of general revenue enhancement levied in July. On the other manus Government ne’er wanted to cut down its investings in cleaner energy sector or the drivers of economic growing. Balance between economic growing and environmental impact has to be struck for the smoother economic maps of state and for safe environmental nutriment.

War Between Environmental Sustenance and Human Existence

  1. Background.Planet Earth had undergone many geological and environmental alterations. Our environment was stable for the last 10000 old ages ( Rockstrom, 2009 ) . This was the epoch normally known as Holocene. Planet Earth kept on absorbing the environmental alterations but now under a serious menace. The ground was the rate of devastation was less than the rate of building ( toffler, 1970 ) . But due to inordinate urbanisation, industrialisation and the rate of human development, environment is under terrible exponential alteration. Before the Holocene, geo physical and seismal activities were the grounds of environmental alteration at local degree. But now, human activities are the chief drivers of environmental alteration at local and regional degree. God has made this existence on a delicate balance. Presently Human activities are forcing the bounds of the equilibrium to an extent where all the lives of life animals are threatened.

Struggle Of Existence In Present Environment. Environmental debasement is the hub of all destabilized life environments. Mining is one of the major histrion playing its function in this debasement. Due to excavation, certain issues associated with the environment are interlinked with each other. Climate Change, Soil debasement, land usage, Biodiversity, H2O pollution, H2O and usage of natural resources, GHG’s and perturbation of natural rhythms, all are interlinked with each other in one manner or the other.. Urbanization has reduced the cultivable land and the demand of nutrient is increased. As a last resort agribusiness is done on commercial footing with the extra chemical fertiliser usage. The nutriment of the nutrient points is decreased and for selling intents its advertised as the good thing. Due to excavation in big country. All other next countries normally develop the dirt birthrate issues, H2O footmarks and perturbation of top dirt direction. To get the better of this issue we usually resort to the usage of fertiliser after careful scrutiny and analysis of dirt. Ground H2O taint is the biggest drawback of fertilisers ( Understanding the Effects of Chemical Fertilizers, 2013 ) .G:MININGmining and environmentcycles of lifeNitrogen_Cycle.jpg

Figure 4.Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen fertilisers e.g DAP ( Diammonium Nitrate, NP ( Nitro Phosphate, CAN ( Calcium Ammonium Nitrate etc are easy soluble in H2O and travel through the dirt down. They remain at that place for decennaries and a major beginning of nitrogen accretion. When these fertilisers are coupled with the pesticides, develop neurological, endocrinal and immune systems. This is the direct impact of the usage of fertilisers. Water travels in the deposits and crannies underground. Belowground H2O is the chief beginning of fresh H2O. Over 85 % of Africans rely on land H2O as the major beginning. North African states wholly depend upon the land H2O because of low rainfall whereas Southern African states ( Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe ) depend & gt ; 90 % on land H2O ( Abiye, Mining and Ground Water in South Africa, 2014 ) .


Figure 5. Belowground Water Contamination

By 2025 about 1800 million people on Earth will be lliveing in absolute H2O scarceness countries and merely one tierce of the population of the planet in 2025 will bask the H2O installation without any emphasis ( UN, 2013 ) . By 2025 50 % of H2O will be retrieved by the development states and 18 % by developed states ( UN H2O, 2013 ) . The land H2O taint will further increase the scarceness of H2O and increase the H2O related diseases. In every 20 seconds a kid dies of H2O related disease. All the human activities will go around around the being of itself but in the war of existential philosophy, human race is seeding the seeds which would be complex to harvest. Climate alteration is playing its function in the present scenario. Because of all interlinked issues including H2O taint overall consequence is seen in globalwarming.

Figure 5. Relationship of interlinked Global environmental issues

Due to the scarce resource, universe is pushed into the delimma of pick. We are confronting the acute deficit of resources if we merely look into the monolithic globalisation and exponential growing. Sustainability and the safe patterns are the demand of clip. Merely H2O deficit and H2O linked diseases has shaken the today’s universe.

  1. Decision. God has made the existence on a delicate balance. It is said “God does non play dice” ( Hawking, 1990 ) . This existence was formed on some Initial regulating Torahs called Grand Unification Theory. The existence has its ain mechanisms to reconstruct the hard-pressed procedures due to human activities. Human activities are populating on two prongs ; one to prolong its growing and secondly to fit the velocity of Ti growing with current resources. The delimma is both the prongs has neglected the thought of sustainability. It has increased the rate of devastation of existence than the construction/formation. Mankind is enduring from acute environmental issues which is overpowering its experiential crises.

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