Natural Resources and Population

NaturalResources and Population

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NaturalResources and Population

Diamond

Diamondis a natural resource and a precious stone that is non-renewable. Itis known to be the hardest metal man has ever seen and is used in themanufacture of jewellery and ornaments. Most of the major diamondproducing countries is in the east and southern Africa. However thecountry that tops nations with highest deposits of the mineral isRussia. Other countries are Botswana, DR Congo, Australia, SouthAfrica, Canada, Angola, Namibia, Ghana, and Brazil in that order.

Usesand extraction

Diamondis a very hard metal and is therefore mostly used as an abrasive inthe industries. Small particles of diamonds are embedded in othermetals such as saw blade or drill bit and grinding wheel for thefunction of cutting, grinding or drilling. The metals are also groundand converted to powder that makes the diamond paste which is usedfor polishing other metals. It could also be used for very finegrinding. There is an enormous market for diamond and the demand ismuch higher than the supply (Young, Lisa and Jan 90).The gap gets filled with artificial diamonds which are cheaper andworks well for industrial purposes.

Diamondsare also used in the making of diamond windows that are used inlasers and x-ray machines. That is because the metal is durable andis resistant to heat and abrasion. Other uses are in the making ofdiamond speaker domes. These are high-quality speakers that canvibrate rapidly without deforming which could distort or interferewith the sound quality. The metal is also used in the making of heatsinks, which are materials made to absorb and transmit excess sincediamond has very high thermal conductivity (Young, Lisaand Jan 65).Finally, diamonds are used in the wear-resistant parts, which areproduced by coating surfaces with thin diamond coatings. Diamond isconverted into vapor in the process and is deposited on the surfaceof parts that are prone to wear.

Diamondsare dug from the ground with the use of highly sophisticatedmachines. Pipes are inserted deeply into the field and throughdetecting devices the presence of diamond is identified. Largeamounts of deposits must be established before mining could begin.This is because extraction of diamond is expensive and mining cannotonly take place if the measures are economically viable. The rawrocks and soil are dug and are transported to special plants. At theplants, the entire ores are processed and the diamond extracted. Therough stones of diamond extracted are then sorted into differentqualities. Usually, they are sold as rough diamonds to commercialindustries.

Howthe extraction of the resource impacts the environment

Inthe extraction of diamond, large openings are created on the groundcausing huge impacts on the environment. Such openings are dangerousto the human beings and the animals alike. They also aggravate soilerosion hence interfering with the vegetation and the entirebiological diversity (Young, Lisa and Jan 69).It destroys river banks interfering with the flow which significantlyaffect the performance of flora and fauna. There is also a lot of airpollution due to the dust originating from the mines. The open fieldswhere diamond mining takes place are almost inhabitable due to dustand could lead to respiratory diseases among the people. There is alot of water pollution around the mining areas, which is detrimentalto the health of the people in such areas. In some regions, there isthe destruction of water catchment areas leading to the emergence ofdeserts as experienced in South Africa. There is also a destructionof entire ecosystems and, therefore, interfering with the naturalorder of biodiversity.

Accordingto the experts, diamond extraction will reach its peak by the end of2030.That is attributed to the fast dwindling deposits around theworld. The demand is much higher than the supply in all aspects(Dixon and M C 70).The consumption of diamond continuously destructs the environment. Insome mining areas, entire vegetations have been wiped out to createspace for drilling. The result is that the environment is destructedand cannot sustain human activities such as agriculture. That isinformed by the fact that lack of vegetations reduces the amount ofrainfall in a region leading to an extension of semi-arid and aridareas there are drying of rivers and hence affecting aquatic life.There is increased the release of greenhouses gases due to the use ofdiesel fuels in the mines.

Consequencesof use of diamond

Asthe population continues to increase, the consumption of diamond willgo up leading to depletion of the resource (Dixon and MC 58).There will be the continuous destruction of the natural environmentwhich will reduce the available lands for farming. That would, inturn, affect food security which could occasion prolonged hunger.

Asalternatives, there is need to target use of renewable resources toreduce pressure on the consumption of diamond. Artificial rock couldplay a huge role in that as is equally good regarding quality andfunction.

Thehumans can limit the consumption of diamond by looking foralternatives .For example there are readily available metals thatcould be used in the manufacture of jewellery.

References

Dixon,R A, and M C. Dillon. Aboriginesand Diamond Mining: The Politics of Resource Development in the EastKimberley, Western Australia.Nedlands, W.A: University of Western Australia Press, 1990. Print.

Young,Helen, Lisa Goldman, and Jan Egeland. Livelihoods,Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding., 2015. Print.