Australian mining companies contribute to better lives for all of us
The thought of creating new mines in Australia has always had green groups up in arms – and in most cases, there is a strong argument for this. Both sides have their own agenda when it comes to mining precious minerals from deep within the earth.
What’s your view on this?
Depending if you are a local who is protesting about a new mine in close proximity to your home; a local worker who is excited about the prospect of a new mine development within short driving distance from home; a mining company that has an opportunity to build an asset and create jobs; or a local government that is set to benefit from royalties from a mine, which in turn benefits the local community – the perception of mining in Australia is vastly different.
This being the case, we thought it was a good time to overview some of the benefits mining brings in ways that enrich our lives and allows for us all to live a better life.
The bi-products from mining are immense. It’s not just coal and iron ore that is exported to far away countries, we must all consider the other types of minerals that are mined which form the basis of products we all consume in our everyday lives.
A recent survey revealed some predictable results from opponents to mining development; as you would rightly expect. In a lot of cases the people who are against mining are educated individuals who have little or no idea that most of the ‘stuff’ they consume, use and rely on originated from mining.
Living in our high-tech world, we all depend on everyday products that are in some way derived from mined materials. These include, cars and transport, food, houses, appliances, phones, tech gadgets and copious amounts of items made from plastic. Electronics equipment used in circuit boards and micro-chips that are incorporated into just about everything from cars, to bikes, watches, toys, petrol bowsers, running shoes and even in body parts.
Think about this one…
Australian mining companies exist to mine metals from the earth. Plastic items are made from petroleum or gas products. We heat our homes with gas, or oil or even coal. Glass is made from limestone and silica. Food cultivation relies on fertilisers to stimulate plant growth; fertilisers that are made from phosphate or potash.
When you think of it, ‘going green’ relies heavily on objects created from mined materials. Try making a giant wind turbine from wood, not steel or aluminium. How would our cars move without rubber tyres which are created from catalytic conversion processes of oil refinery. Even solar panels have aluminium frames, with circuits and microchips, as well as rare earth metals like neodymium and silicon.
The entire human communications industry is built on mined materials. The manufacturing industries that exist to make consumer products requires massive amounts of energy which is mostly derived from coal.
Take the internet for instance. If we banned mining, the internet would come to a standstill as there would be no more fibre to create the optic high-speed networks we all so desperately desire. Smartphones, tablets, hand-held devices, laptops and computers are manufactured from rare earth materials, glass and plastic.
iMINCO and Australian mining companies are just as concerned about the future of this planet as anyone else, however, certain groups insist on more renewable energy projects being developed.
However, there is the consideration of supporting the development of a rare earth metals mine or an aluminium smelter or an iron ore processing plant to make the materials for turbines and solar panels? How are these renewable components to be made?
From what materials and are these practices efficient and sustainable. Generally speaking, renewable technology is expensive and can create extra load on local, state and federal governments to manage these types of activities.
Australia relies on implementing the latest technology to sustain its place in the world and is viewed by its peers as a country worth investing in, which in turn creates a buoyant economy with more jobs. There is no easy solution to balancing the issue of mining development and the sustainability issues attached to continuing to develop Australia into an independent and rich nation.
Australia has mineral wealth just waiting to be mined. Australian mining companies develop mines in a strictly controlled federal policy framework. Australia needs a strong mining economy that will continue to contribute to the country’s GDP.
We are indeed a lucky country.