This is something to consider
Where do some of the beautiful gems that we adorn ourselves and our homes come from
Yes they are beautiful, but at what price does the environment pay. I love finding treasures when I am out for a walk or going to a semi-precious gem store and looking at crystals. I came across Rhodochrosite because I feel it has an important story to tell, it is found along veins of silver in the Earths crust and is often discarded during the silver mining process.
Rhodochrosite and silver mining
Rhodochrosite occurs as a hydrothermal vein mineral along with other manganese minerals in low temperature ore deposits as in the silver mines of Romania where it was first found. Banded rhodochrosite is mined in Capillitas, Argentina. Catamarca, Argentina has an old Incan silver mine that has produced fine stalactitic examples of rhodochrosite that are unique and very attractive. Cut cross-sections reveal concentric bands of light and dark rose colored layers. These specimens are carved and used for many ornamental purposes. A lot of rhodochrosite is discarded during the silver mining process.
The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater, surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to increase the available room for the storage of the created debris and soil. Besides creating environmental damage, the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals also affect the health of the local population. Mining companies in some countries are required to follow environmental and rehabilitation codes, ensuring the area mined is returned to close to its original state. Some mining methods may have significant environmental and public health effects. Nuss and Eckelman (2014) provide an overview of the life-cycle wide environmental impacts of metals production associated with 62 metals in year 2
Mining can have bad effects on surrounding surface and ground water if protective measures are not taken. The result can be unnaturally high concentrations of some chemicals, such as arsenic, sulfuric acid, and mercury over a significant area of surface or subsurface
some of the featured images come from Wikipedia.org
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