Diamond mining in the environment of South Africa is currently not being used sustainably. For instance mining has changed the relief of the South African land as open-pit mines have made large deep pits in the earth, which grow wider and fill up with water during rainfall. Another reason why it is not sustainable is because a change and increase of the population, which strain the water supplies and have led to an increase of pollution in rivers. The population increase has also changed commercial farming, which degraded soil quality and made soil erosion in many places. Furthermore South African mining is not sustainable due to the large amounts of excess rock, sand and soil and processed Kimberlite that accumulates in areas that have open-pit mining and just stay there as there is not much that you can do with it. Mining in South Africa also changed the environment with deforestation, dams, re-routed rivers, abandoned open pit mines and the endangerment of 45 endemic plant species. The De Beers diamond mining company has also not being very environmentally sustainable leaving the equivalent of 2,000 football fields of land that can no longer be inhabited. I therefore think that mining in the South African environment is currently not sustainable due to environmental destruction.
The De Beers diamond mining company has also not being very environmentally sustainable leaving the equivalent of 2,000 football fields of land that can no longer be inhabited.
Although diamonds mining in the South African environment is not currently sustainable some things are being done to try and make it sustainable. Some things that are being done to minimize the impact of mining on the environment is a South African law that states that, “Once a mine is closed down, companies are obliged to provide the financial and other resources to ensure that disturbed areas are returned to a state that is equivalent to or better than it was before the mining started.” This is minimising the impact as there are consequences for not following the law, and this law means that the mining companies must resurrect the environment where they are mining, in some way. Another thing that is being done to minimise the impact that diamond mining has on the South African environment is that the diamond industry has set up a few Nature Reserves, in which there are breeding programmes for many rare and endangered species which include antelope, disease-free buffalo and white rhino calves. These two things that the diamond mining industry is doing and have to follow, help the South African environment to be a little bit more sustainable into the future.
Mining in South Africa also changed the environment with deforestation, dams, re-routed rivers, abandoned open pit mines and the endangerment of 45 endemic plant species.
Although the diamond mining industry have done a few things to help the environment there still are many more things that they can do to further minimise the impacts in the future. To fix the water pollution they could make a water treatment facility where they could treat the water before they release it into the main supply and into rivers where it kills wildlife and pollutes rivers. This would minimise the impacts on pollute rivers in the future. To fix their degraded soil quality and erosion the diamond industry could plant trees and shrubs, which would not only provide more stable ground and decrease erosion it would also decrease atmospheric pollution. The South African diamond industry could use the same process as the Waihi mining industry where with their excess rock, sand and soil and processed Kimberlite they could pile it up into small hills and plant trees and shrubs on top and grow native trees and plants. This would also fix their problem of 45 native species, which are endangered due to mining. To fix deforestation in places like Angola the diamond industry could make an act where for every tree that they cut down they plant twice, or three times as much somewhere else. Also in Angola instead of making dams and re-routing river the diamond industry could make an underground mine and not damage the environment on top. To fix the problem of the abandoned pits in South Africa that become filled with stagnant water and become infested with mosquitos and diseases like malaria. The diamond industry could treat the water in the abandoned pits with pesticide and chemicals so that the water can no longer be a suitable environment to breed mosquitos. I think that if the South African diamond industry can follow these ideas then the impact of the diamond industry on the South African environment would definitely be minimal and more sustainable for the future.