Mining and the Environment Created by Samantha Cosmas

Let's explore the town of Wheelabarrowback and it's gold mine - The Glitter Mine

A sketch map of the Glitter Mine

This video will show the process of mining gold.

Drilling holes are made and explosives are inserted into the holes.
After the explosion, the rocks are collected and placed in trucks to be crushed.
The trucks go up the haulage road to the Primary Crusher
The rocks go through the Primary crusher, then the secondary crusher and finally the tretiary crusher
The Gold is then sent to the processing/recovering plant

Cyanide Extraction

Gold can be extracted in many ways and one of them is cyanide extraction. Cynide extraction have been used in the mining industry for over 120 years.

Cyanide can be found in everyday things such as fruit and nuts. It can be found in table salt and in over 1000 plants such as bamboo.

How cyanide extraction works is that workers use cynide in a very dilute solution(along with other chemicals) and use it to separate the gold from the ore. Cyanide extraction can be used to extract gold from finely crushed ore. After using the cyanide, zinc is used to recover the gold and then the gold is smelted into bullions.


Large amount of cyanide is very toxic. If cyanide is consumed, it will prevent to body from taking up oxygen resulting is suffocation. There have not been any cases to cyanide poisoning in Australia but it can still be fatal.

Cyanide is actually more fatal to aquatic life. Fish are a thousand time more sensitive to cyanide than humans. To prevent cyanide from entering an water ways, the mine waters go through water treatment technology to extract the cyanide or any other harmful chemicals before it enters into the environment.

Why would mining be good for the community?

Job careers needed to run a mine

Machine Operator - operates the machines such as the trucks(A degree is needed as well as experience, computer and techinical skills)

Environmental Scientist - investigates the environment(Smart, resourceful and open minded)

Engineer - works in the mines(Certificate 3 - Master of Philosphy)

Communicator - does the planning(Able to work with others and are resourceful and an independent thinker)

Surveyor - finding a mining landscape(Certificate 4 in surveying - Bachelor of Spatial Science

Operating a mine has many positive factors but many negative factors as well. Money would be earned from the mine. On the 16th of March, the price of gold was priced on the international market for $52.65 per gram. In the Perth Mint, they are selling one bullion for $1,636.61. Mines supply raw materials for building and construction. Locals would be able to find jobs at the mines and electricity can be generated for mining materials. The town itself would be more popular, therefore the prices would go up.

While the town receives all these things, there are also many disadvantages. A vast amount of land is need to be excavated to set up the mine. Habitats would have to be destroyed and all the animals would have to be moved and transported to somewhere similar to their previous habitat. Chemical leakage could damage the environment and if it enters in water ways, it could kill all the life in it. Mines could pollute the area and cause air pollution and radioactive pollution. Equipment and vechicles used in gold mining release large amount of carbon dioxide which could damage the ozone layer and mercury fumes are released into the atmosphere as gold ores are being processed. A large amount of rocks are also deposited around the mines due to the rarity of gold and most of these rocks contain sulphur which can damage your organisms if consumed or inhaled.

Gold is used in many ways. Gold is mostly used for jewellery but gold can also be used for technology, making coins and orthodontic appliances.

Gold is continued to be mined because of its many uses like as listed before. Gold is good to look at and it doesn't rust.


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "animal blue creature" • ptc24 - "Fish" • Claudia14 - "dolphin marine mammals water" • orinoko42 - "Waihi Opencast Gold Mine - 2010" • stafichukanatoly - "car heavy-duty truck belaz" • Helen Olney - "Lead Mines" • Will Scullin - "Blueprint" • horjaraul - "mine mining mining site" • skeeze - "world earth planet"

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