Quiz 4 Review
Great work on Quiz 4 – the average was ~16 / 20! Below is a selection of commonly
misanswered questions on the quiz that warrant further discussion and/or clarification. We
hope this helps you with your comprehension of the course material and for studying towards
our upcoming final exam (more details to be posted soon)!Also, don't forget that we'll only
be using the top 3 of 4 quiz marks in the calculation of your final grade for the course.
-Dave, Jan, Dana & Martyn
Here they are by category:
Artisanal and Small Scale Mining:
Q: What are two of the largest obstacles towards minimizing environmental damage and
health effects of artisanal and small-scale mining around the world?
A: Lack of education prevents miners to see the consequences and danger of mining and
processing (e.g., use of mercury) whereas lack of money prevents them from being able to
invest in less damaging mining & processing methods, and to reclaim the land.
Q: What was one of the motivating factors that made people interested in the concept of fair
trade gemstones and precious metals?
A: Publicizing the Kimberley Process and conflict gemstones was one of the major factors.
Q: Native silver is rarely pure. What trace elements does it commonly contain?
A: Silver (Ag) commonly contains gold (Au) (forming alloy called electrum), and sometimes
mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and antimony (Sb).
Q: What are some early uses for the metal copper?
A: The early uses of copper in tools and jewels are well known; however, copper coins are
known from relatively modern era, as well as copper electric wiring.
Q: What is the correct order of processing copper ore?
A: The first three steps (Blasting > Crushing > Milling) are logical and almost nobody made
a mistake there. The next three steps were a bit tricky, because it was necessary to understand
what the individual steps mean (Chemical Flotation > Smelting > Refining by
During chemical flotation, the ore minerals are separated from the rest of the milled
rock, using their hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties in a water bath improved with
chemicals specific for each ore type.
During smelting, metal is produced from the ore.
During refining by electroplating, the metal purity is refined.
Social and Environmental Impacts: Q:At which phase(s) of mineral resource development is it absolutely vital to conduct
A:Although environmental study is essential throughout mineral resource development, it
does not necessarily take place in early stages such as exploration or discovery; it is part of
the development of the deposit. During production, environmental criteria outlined in the
environmental study are monitored. And, of course, after the deposit is closed and reclaimed,
additional environmental studies are done to check whether all environmental risks identified
by the first study in the development stage were appropriately controlled.
Q: What is one of the most common and prominent issues facing mining operations around
A: Though each mine site will have its own specific set of challenges to overcome, such as
corrupt government, endangered species, heavy metals, remote locations, fish bearing rivers,
coal bed methane, etc… one that is common to most mine sites is weathering if sulfide
bearing minerals (e.g., pyrite) are at the surface of the earth. Initially, they were locked up in
the rocks but through the process of mining and milling they became very fine particles and
therefore very reactive. The consequence of this is that they are able to produce a large
amount of acid, which can have a significant impact on the acidity of surface waters and
therefore the environmental health of the area.
Q: Of the following methods of mining, which is most cost intensive?
Cost of mining is dependent on many factors, but the most important are:
1) Price of the commodity
2) Cost of getting to the ore and equipment needed (technique chosen: surface or