What Role Does Mineral Extraction Play In The Economy?

Role Does Mineral Extraction

The economy has been powered by numerous sectors in this 21st century, but mineral extraction has been one of the main pillars of the economy for centuries. If we take you back to prehistoric times, minerals such as flint were taken out to make tools to survive. As the human race revolutionized, we started extracting copper, coal, oilgas, and gold, completely changing the dynamics of the global economy.

The gold rushes in South Africa and Western Australia are some of the prominent examples of the influence mineral extraction can have on the economy. In the United States of America, the minerals mining industry has created about 1 million jobs and not only this, it is also considered one of the highest-paying private sectors in the country.

Here’s what you need to know about mineral extraction and its role in the economy;


What Is Mineral Extraction?

What Is Mineral Extraction

Some people are not aware of what is mineral extraction and how it’s supporting our day-to-day life, no matter where we live on this planet. Taking out minerals from the earth’s surface with the means of mining is known as mineral extraction. Mineral extraction is closely linked with the improvement of lifestyles around the world, it’s one of the building blocks of nations that are eager to develop.

There are numerous minerals beneath the earth’s surface such as metals and valuable stones which are used in numerous industries around the world, may it be construction, electronics, and whatnot, almost every other industry is linked with mineral extraction.

Influence Of Mineral Extraction On The Economy 

Mineral extraction carries tremendous significance all around the world, primarily in the United States. It plays a vital role in the manufacturing of goods and commodities that are essential for a basic lifestyle. Economies with better mineral extraction tend to have strong economies as this works as a catalyst in improving the national GDP of a country.

There’s a positive impact of mineral extraction when talking about economies. It leads to employment generation as well as income generation. Not only this, if we talk about developing nations, skill transfer is also experienced. Many countries around the world made their economies sustainable with the help of mineral extraction.

Due to the multiplier effect, each metal mining job is responsible for creating 2.8 additional jobs and if we talk about non-metal mining jobs, they create about 2.5 new jobs as well. Such stats make the influence of mineral extraction very prominent in the economy. If we only talk about America, about 370,000 people are directly linked with mineral extracting and the headcount of people who are indirectly linked with this sector is much more.

Raw material worth billions of dollars is extracted from the earth’s surface, making it highly valuable. May it be automotive, aerospace, construction, or technological industry, all of these rely on the raw material being taken out. According to statistics, about $3 trillion of the United States economy is dependent on mineral extraction, which is without any doubt an eye-opening number if we talk about the role played by mineral extraction in the economy.

Few Risks Of Mineral Extraction

Even though mineral extraction plays a pivotal role in running the global economy, it surely has a few risks that can’t be ignored, here are some of the common potential risks of mineral extraction;

Threat To Habitat

Threat To Habitat

Protecting the ecosystem is a hot debate these days. Habitat destruction is considered one of the most prominent risks of mineral extraction. May it be surface or even ground mining, the area needs to be altered, leading to a threat to animals and plants of that region. As you can’t dig out minerals without touching the earth’s surface and cutting or drilling down some areas, there are always a few species of plants and animals that are vulnerable.

Water And Air Quality Issues

Poor air and water quality around the world is a major concern these days. As contamination of these life-supporting entities is reaching its peak. There’s a significant role of water in mining. No matter the type of mining you’re doing, water is an essential part of the process and it can get contaminated in the process. Mine drainage needs to be sorted out and water channels should be protected at all costs to make sure people have access to clean water.

However, there’s no denying the fact that throughout the mining process, many harmful gasses are released into the air, such as carbon dioxide and mercury which can hamper the quality of air we take in. Such issues later create big disasters such as global warming and whatnot.


The mining industry is responsible for providing jobs to millions of people around the world, and there’s no survival without it. To make our economies flourish, mineral extraction needs to be there. However, all the necessary practices to keep the safety of the workers as well as the ecosystems need to be ensured.

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