Henry “Hal” McVey wrote a comprehensive article on the importance of industrial minerals in a typical first-world person’s life. I say first-world because not every single person in the entire world could relate to what he calls “a normal working day”. A working person in the Philippines could probably identify with some but not in all the routines. Nevertheless, McVey was successful in putting into light the many uses of non-metallic minerals in our everyday lives.
He succeeded in providing a “broad insight into the importance of industrial minerals in our everyday life.
He did a great job in emphasizing “how much our lives would be altered without ready and economical access to these fundamental constituents. ” Indirectly, Mr. McVey is saying that mining is important because our lives depend much on minerals. In addition to what he has cited, may I add that pregnant women must have an ample supply of minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium to ensure the optimum growth of their babies.
Only, these minerals can only be accessed through food. The kinds of minerals which he cited in his paper can only be collected through mining.
Yes, I agree with Mr. McVey. Mining is important and necessary. There is no other activity known to man that would enable him to extract precious minerals from the earth’s core. It is as indispensable as the minerals themselves. However, every mining activity has its costs. Most often than not, the environmental cost outweighs the benefits. These are the costs which Mr. McVey failed to include in his paper if he wanted to present a balance picture of mining. Countless scenarios have been cited to create an image of the evils of mining.
There is water pollution, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, human displacement, and other negative environmental impact. In the Philippines, there are non-governmental groups which clamor for a moratorium on all mining activities in the country. According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), a mining moratorium would allow the government to review the policies on mining and at the same time, allow the environment to recover from destruction.
CBCP mentioned further that “the current national policy favors foreign corporations prioritizing the uncontrolled entry of investment, undermining the environment and the rights and well-being of the affected communities. ” What the CBCP is saying is that mining does not provide direct development to the community people, rather it brings environmental destruction. It is an issue that must not fall into deaf ears. Since we cannot do without the minerals in our lives, mining companies must be responsible enough in the conduct of mineral extraction.
As much as possible, they must mine with the least possible environmental destruction. Moreover, a particular area must not be saturated with mining operations. Reforestation must be done as soon as possible. It is hypocrisy to say that we do away with mining. A compromise must be reached among the affected communities, the mining companies, and the government. There must be a strict implementation of the tenets of the mining law. Mining is here to stay but old destructive methods ways must be abandoned and replaced with methods that are more environment-friendly, if there are such things.