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Mining and the environment: a case study from Bijolia quarrying site in Rajasthan, India


Mining is essentially a destructive developmental activity, where ecology suffers at the altar of economy. Unfortunately, in most regions of the Earth, the underground geological resources are superimposed by biological resources (forests). This is particularly evident in India. Hence mining operations necessarily involve deforestation, habitat destruction, biodiversity erosion and destruction of geological records which contain information about past biodiversity. Extraction and the processing of ores and minerals also lead to widespread environmental pollution.

However, mankind cannot afford to give up the underground geological resources which are the basic raw materials for development. An unspoiled nature can provide ecological security to people but cannot bring economic prosperity. Scientific mining operations accompanied by ecological restoration and regeneration of mined wastelands and judicious use of geological resources, with search for eco-friendly substitutes and alternatives must provide the answer.

A case study from the Bijolia quarrying area in Rajasthan, India, provides some sensational revelations of the impact of mining on the human ecosystem.

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Sinha, R.K., Pandey, D.K. & Sinha, A.K. Mining and the environment: a case study from Bijolia quarrying site in Rajasthan, India. The Environmentalist 20, 195–203 (2000).

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  • environmental destruction
  • sustainable mining
  • mined wasteland reclamation
  • biodiversity restoration