Iron and Mining in our Daily Lives

Can we live without the aid of mining now a days? No. It’s really hard not to. Not because we are a developing country, not because we are surging forward towards industrialization. But because, mining and the things we get from mining is part of our lives – whether we like it or not.

As I pound the keys of my tablet, enjoy the cool breeze of our inverter aircon, feel safe under the sturdy and durable roof above my head which keeps me dry from the rain and safe from burglars, I have the major metals found in the earth like iron ore to be thankful for.

Iron ore or the main ingredient in steel, is without doubt a major factor in our daily living. Every second of our lives, we use steel. From the clothes we wear (the machines were made of steel), from the food we eat (the food were transported using vehicles made from steel), from the water we drink (water passes thru metal pipes), we rely on steel. And to harvest steel we mine. Iron ores is one of the earth’s most abundant rock elements and it where metallic iron is extracted. Iron ore makes up about 5% of the Earth’s crust and is the 4th most common element in the world. Australia has the best quality of iron ore in the world and this is the country where it is found abundantly.

In the Philippines, there is only one iron-producing mine in the country namely the Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp. Its operation was recently suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as part of its audit on all the mining firms in the country.

Mining has been part of our lives as early as 1521. It helps produce jobs, improve lives in the community and contribute to the growing economy of our country. To engage in mining here in the Philippines requires so many permits and heavy payments. There are laws too like the Philippine Mining Act that must be followed.

Since the Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the volcanic activities has produced different minerals for our country. The Philippines is ranked as the 5th most mineral-rich country in the world for copper, nickel, gold and chromite. Globally, the Philippines places third as the largest gold producer, fourth for copper and fifth for nickel. Gold is being responsibly mined in Masbate by Filminera and Masbate Gold Project. Mining has pushed other country’s economy – like that of Canada and Australia – to great heights. They practice responsible mining and it reflects on how they rehabilitate their environment before, during and after mining.

All mining companies are also being called to practice responsible mining. Responsible Mining is the best solution to address all problems concerning mining. As mining cannot help but cause environmental and social change, responsible mining calls for all mining industries to (a) AVOID or MINIMIZE harm to the environment (with good environmental management plans at hand implemented long-term), (b) respect human rights and provide jobs to the local community (c) create a very safe workplace for people and the environment and lastly (d) responsible mining demands the mining industries to leave a good legacy in that community thru building infrastructures like roads, schools, hospitals and others. Mining is a very lucrative business that is why the world demands it to be morally, socially and ethically responsible at all times.