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 Form 1 Geography Online Lessons on Mining

Lesson on Factors Influencing Exploitation of Minerals

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Answer Text:
Factors Influencing Exploitation of Minerals
1. Value of Mineral
-Minerals of high value will be mined even if they occur in small quantities because one sold it will be possible to offset mining costs and make a profit and vice versa.
2. Quality of Ore
-Mining can be done if the mineral deposits have high mineral content because they are economical to work on but deposits with low mineral content are rarely worked on except if the mineral in them is rare e.g. uranium.
3. Size of Deposit
-Minerals which aren’t of high value have to occur in large quantities for them to be mined so that it will be a possible to recover mining costs and make a profit.
4. Capital
-Lack of capital causes developing countries not to exploit minerals and leave it to international companies because a lot of money is needed for exploration, infrastructure, salaries, energy etc e.g. titanium mining at Kwale is being done by Tiomin company from Canada.
5. Method of Mining
-A mineral requiring open cast mining will be mined even if the mineral deposit is large but one requiring underground mining will be extracted if it is in large deposit or if it is of high value or rare.
6. Transport costs
-Minerals occurring in remote areas far from the markets are not likely to be exploited if the transport system is poorly developed since mineral ore is heavy and bulky and transporting it by road and railway is expensive.
7. Market for the Mineral
-Mining can be done if the mineral is in demand and if the prices are reasonable so that mining costs are offset and a profit is realized.
8. Political Influence
-Mineral deposits at the borders of two countries may not be exploited as a dispute may arise concerning whom mine it e.g. dispute between Iraq and Kuwait over Rumaila should oil field.
9. Labour
-Exploitation of some minerals require skilled workers and if they lack it may not be done as is the case in developing countries because expatriates have to be engaged and are very expensive to pay which may reduce the profits accruing from mining.