Australian working visa applications have seen a significant growth in the past few months, indicating that the country still has a huge demand for workers. And one of the industries that has been hiring a lot of workers both from abroad and locally is the mining industry. However, while many people are welcoming this trend in the industry, there are also a lot of groups that are concern about the effects of mining in the country's welfare in the long run.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
To give a good idea of how extensive mining is in the country, here are some fast facts and figures. Australia ranks second behind China in terms of gold production. On the other hand, the country is ranked third for iron ore production. Australia, particularly Western Australia, also exports a significant amount of bauxite and alumina abroad, these two ores are used for the production of aluminum. As for precious stones, Australia actually produces around 95 percent of the worlds opal supply to date.
Thus, one can see how significant mining is to the country. Indeed mining has contributed a large part to the development of Australia. For instance, the gold rushes of the late 19th century paved the way for the development of Australia into a modern country. And even today, the mining industry contributes greatly in the current economic boom that the country is experiencing.
However, while mining does have a lot of benefits to the country, it also has several adverse effects. Most notable of this is, of course, environmental impact. Just like any human industry, mining does cause pollution to the environment. And with many of the processes utilized in mined using and producing harmful substances, this is certainly something that can not be taken lightly. This is even more significant if you take the fragile Australian ecosystem into account.
Furthermore, another significant effect of mining in some regions in the displacement of people in the areas. As one would probably know already, mining requires a huge land area to operate. Thus,it is likely that such operations would force many people, including Aboriginal tribes to move out of their homelands.
It is because of these reasons why a lot of groups are now concerned about the opening of new mines in the country. Here, several groups have already started their actions against new mines. For instance, the aboriginal community of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia have aired their concerns about the plans to open a uranium mine in the region.
How the government would deal with the issue will likely be a tightrope between the benefits and disadvantages of mining.
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