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5.1: Types of mining industry

Concepts from this subtopic

a.       Name different types of mining industries

Mining is the process of extraction minerals and fossil fuels from the earth’s crust

Sustainable mining is the process of controlling extraction of minerals to ensure that these minerals do not run too fast.

Types of mining industry

a.       Metal mining industry(Inorganic) Includes; Gold, iron, silver, copper, lead, nickel, cobalt, manganese, tin and aluminum.

b.       Non-metal mining industry; Includes Salt, potash, nitrate, Sulphur, diamond and graphite. Energy mineral Coal, natural gas and petroleum

5.2: Types and distribution of mining regions in the world

a.       Explain major types of minerals found in the world

b.       Locate regions in the world map and type of minerals extracted

Types of minerals found in the world

(a) Coal; It is found in USA in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and interior states like Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and the gulf province in states like Texas, Alabama. The former USSR in Moscow, Donetsk coal basin and kuanetstk coal basin. Other countries include china, United Kingdom, South Africa, Zimbabwe at wonkie, Zambia, Nigeria, Botswana, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Morocco, Malawi, Sudan and Tanzania [from the Ruhuhu basin, ketewaka- Mchuchuma and Songwe-kiwira]

(b) Gold; It is found in South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, DRC, Uganda and Kenya

(c) Salt minerals; It is found in Tanzania along the coast, Uvinza in kigoma and China

(d) Copper It is found in Zambia, DRC, Uganda –kilembe, Mauritania, Botswana, Chile, Canada, the former USSR and USA

(e) Natural gas; It is found in Tanzania at Songosongo Island in Kilwa, Nigeria and Middle East

(f) Diamond ;This is found in Tanzania [Mwadui shinyanga], South Africa, DRC, Namibia and sierra Leone and guinea

(g) Phosphate ;It is found in Tororo –Uganda and Morocco at khourigba, youssonta and ben gueri within the maseta

(h) Rouxite ;It is the ore of aluminum. It is located in guinea, Ghana and Cameroon.

(i) Iron ore; It is in German, Sweden, USA, and china, Brazil, Australia, France, UK, Liberia, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Algeria, Angola and South Africa.

(j) Tanzanite; it is found in Tanzania Merarani Arusha


5.3: Method of mining

a.       Categorise various ways of mining

b.       Explain ways of processing different types of minerals

Methods of mining

(a)              Open cast mining It is used to extract minerals which usually occur close to the earth‘s surface. It involves removing the top layers of the earth and other overlying materials above the mineral areas Earth moving machines and bulldozers are used. Electric shovels-to dig up minerals and load it into the lorries or trucks It is the cheapest method Example Quarrying of lime stone and corals at Kunduchi in DSM and Barubuni in Kenya


(b)             Alluvial mining It Takes place where minerals occur in alluvial deposits (materials deposited by water). It involves mixing of alluvial deposits with water. Then the mixture is rotated until light particles like sand, mud and small stones are crashed off Then the mineral particles like gold, platinum and diamonds are left behind


(c)              Underground (shaft mining) It is used in mining ore that lie deep below the surface of the earth Vertical shaft is dug up to the layer containing the mineral, and then the tunnel is dug up horizontally to reach the minerals. Hence, the minerals are transported from the tunnels to the base of the shaft from where it is hoisted onto the surface.





Ways of processing different types of minerals

(i) Crushing and grinding

Crushing and grinding intend to reduce the size of ores to extract the valuable minerals from the rock. At the low level, the ore is crushed and dissolved in water but at the advanced level water and other chemicals are mixed together to obtain the minerals.

(ii) Separation:

Minerals that are magnetic such as magnetite can be separated from non-magnetic particles using strong magnets because the minerals are attracted to the magnet (ferromagnetic).


This is separation of particles according to size. The method involves screening or passing the particles to be separated, through a screen.

Floatation: Floatation makes possible the processing of complex intergrown ores containing copper, lead, zinc and pyrite into separate concentrates and tailings. In the floatation the ores are crushed and the particles separated based on how they float on water or other liquids that allow unwanted materials to remain. For example, processing of copper ore into small particles involves mixing the ore with water. Then chemicals are added to the mixture and put into a floatation machine. The floating copper particles are then removed. The particles are dried and smelted into copper blisters. Copper blisters contain 97% - 98% copper. The blisters can be refined even further to remove other minerals or impurities.

5.4: Contribution of mining industry to the economy of Tanzania

Concepts from this sub topic

a.       Explain the economic importance to the economy of Tanzania

Contribution of mining industry to the economy (economic importance of mining industry) of any country

i. Mining leads to the development of industries in the country for example steel cutting industry, coal has led to the development of heavy industries in china, USA and chemical industries.

ii. Mining contributes to the earning of foreign currency in the country for example copper in Zambia, gold in South Africa, oil in Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Middle East and Kuwait.

iii.               Mining industry provides employment opportunities to the people for example, in Zambia copper mining employs a lot of people

iv.                Mining stimulates the development of transport and communication of other economic systems in any country

v.                 It encourages the development of other economic sectors since it generates capital for the country

vi.                Mining also leads to the improvement in the international relations through forming international organizations

vii.              Mining leads to the development of towns and large cities like the industrial conurbation of rand in South Africa.

viii.             Also mining leads to the diversification of the economy of the country so that the country cannot depend on one source of revenue or income

ix.                Mining has stimulated the construction activity especially in the supply of corrugated iron sheets for roofing the buildings.

x.                 It also supplies some energy since some minerals are energy reserve like coal, petroleum, uranium and natural gas


5.5: The effects of mining industry in the environment

Concepts from this sub topic

b.       Describe the effect of mining in the environment

c.       Propose ways of minimizing effects of mining to the environment


There are several factors that contributed to the growth of mining sectors in different countries, includes;

  I.Availability of capital to be invested in the mining industry like buying the machinery. Lack of enough capital, the mining industry develops slowly.

 II.Nature of transport system. If the transport system is efficient mining develops fast but if the transport is poor, then mining does not develop fast.

III. Availability of labour. Is another factor that contributes to the development of the mining sector, for mining to develop fast there should be readily available labour but if labour is unavailable then mining becomes poor

IV. Nature of market. If the market is good, then the mining industry grows fast if it is poor the mining industry develops slowly.

V.Water availability. This also leads to the fast development of the mining industry if the supply of water is reliable. But the situation is different when the supply of water is poor. Water is needed for cooling the engines of the machines and cleaning the minerals.

VI. Nature of government policy. If the policy is supportive the mining industry develops fast but if the government policy is non supportive then the mining industry develops slowly.

VII.The availability of deposits and their value. If the deposits are large and valuable mining takes place fast. But if the deposits are small and poor valuable mining take place slowly.


Problems facing the mining industry in Africa and other parts of the world

                i.              Decline or exhaustion of mineral deposits because of over exploitation like coal, copper in Zambia and some parts of USA and south Africa.

              ii.              Poor number of skilled labour in the developing countries like Tanzania this has led to poor exploration and low yield. For example, low quality and quantity minerals.

            iii.              Some countries lack important mineral deposits like Japan and Norway, in some countries the available mineral deposits are of poor quality like coal in Tanzania.

             iv.              Poor capital in the developing countries has led to the decline in the mining sector as mining needs large capital.

              v.              Poor transport system especially in the developing countries has led to the poor mining activity some parts of central Tanzania have poor roads which are impassable during the wet season.

             vi.              Competition with other economic sectors as government concentrate in supporting tourism, fishing.

           vii.              There is a severe problem of constant power supply, that affects the mining industry

         viii.              Poor conditions of workers in the mining areas leads to a problem in labour supply

             ix.              Political problems especially civil wars lead to the poor mining development caused by labour unrest

              x.              There are problems of local market, there is also a problem of price fluctuation in the world market which affects the development of the mining industry

             xi.              There are problems of food supply in some countries like Zambia this leads to the poor mining development Problems caused by the mining industry/ General effects of mining activities


Effects of mining to the environment

            i.              Mining leads to environmental pollution Like water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution and noise pollution.

           ii.             Mining causes land dereliction (abandoning of exhausted land) This destroys the nature of the landscape and leads to mineral resource exhaustion.

         iii.             It accelerates deforestation as a result of clearing of vegetation so as to establish the mining centres and settlement.

         iv.              The size of the land is reduced and the soil structure and texture are destroyed because of the mixture with rock fragments and hence plant growth cannot take place easily.

           v.              Mining leads to the disappearance of valuable plant species. For example, loss of biodiversity.

         vi.              Greenhouse effect and global warming can occur as a result of the used energy generating minerals like coal, uranium. these produce gases like carbon dioxide which pollute the atmosphere.

        vii.             The pits which are flooded with water act as mosquito breeding places and hence accelerate the spread of malaria


Suggested Ways of Minimizing the Effects of Mining to The Environment

                i.              Improving the methods of extraction

              ii.              Reducing the population pressure

            iii.              Reclaiming the areas which have been affected by mining like planting the trees.

             iv.              Developing other sources of energy rather than depending on energy resources from the ground

              v.              Establishing other economic activities like fishing, tourism and market gardening instead of depending on mining only

5.6: Focal studies (Oil production in middle east and natural gas production in Tanzania)

Concepts from this subtopic

a.       Advantages of natural gas production in Tanzania and middle east


 Middle Eastern countries together produce over of the world‘s petroleum oil. The major producers being Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and U.A.E. Others are Oman, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. 

Factors leading to the production of oil in the Middle East

1)  The deposits are very large. The Middle East has a very huge deposit of oil.

2)  The oil is easily obtained in the Middle East. Most of the oil is obtained from underground, only a small percentage obtained from under sea.

3)  The oil can be easily exported (transported). Most of the Middle East fields are located around Persian Gulf (easy to export).

4)  Oil drilling is the only economic activity in the Middle East.


Problems that have been facing oil extraction in the Middle East 

            i.            There has been technological backwardness in many countries combined with small populations and lack of local capital. This forced the international companies to involve themselves in the oil exploitation.

           ii.            Labour unrest due to frequent conflicts that take place in the Middle East like the gulf war. These conflicts have made the oil mining industry become insecure also there are frequent disputes which complicates oil mining because of these issues/conflicts.

         iii.            Poor transport system from production areas to refining ports.

         iv.            Reduction of oil reserves as it is non-renewable resources i.e. it is decreasing day after day.



 In Tanzania natural gas deposits have been discovered at Songosongo in kilwa in 1975 but there has been a delay in realizing full exploitation of gas due to the different reasons;

Another area is Mnazi bay mtwara region

The following are the reasons for the delay in exploitation of natural gas in Tanzania

1)  There is low technology among the Tanzanians that can be used in exploiting natural gas at Songosongo island along the coast of the Indian ocean.

2)  Low capital to be invested since Tanzania is one of the poor countries.

3)  Poor transport infrastructure that can facilitate exploitation of natural gas.

4)  The use of other available sources of energy like HEP and forest has delayed full extraction of natural gas from Songosongo.

5)  Lack of education in extraction


Advantages of the extraction of the natural gas in Tanzania

      i.             It will lead to the reduction of over dependence on gas from outside.

     ii.            The standard of living among the people will raise due to the provision of efficient sources of energy.

   iii.            It can stimulate exploitation of other resources like petroleum which is expected to be present at Songosongo.

   iv.             It can stimulate the gain of foreign currency through selling it abroad

     v.             It will stimulate the development of some iron and steel industries by using the available iron deposits in Tanzania as well as scope iron materials.

   vi.             It contributes to the promotion of environmental conservation since natural gas is clean and environmentally friendly.

  vii.            It will lead to the creation of employment opportunities in the country so as to solve the problem of unemployment for example some people are now employed to dig traces and lay down the pipe lines and construction of other important structures.


Mining Industry in Tanzania 

Mining takes place in Tanzania. It is carried out either by individuals, groups or companies. Minerals are so much important in industrial development since they are used as raw materials. 

Some of the mineral found in Tanzania are as shown in the table below 

Type of Mineral 

Location of Deposits 


Shinyanga (Mwadui )




Mwanza, Shinyanga, Mpanda(Rukwa), Musoma, Mbeya(Chunya) and Singida. 


Arusha(Lake Eyasi, Lake Natron and Lake Manyara)


Morogoro (Kilosa), Mpanda(Rukwa)


Morogoro, Mpanda and Mbeya 




Mbeya (Chunya), and Iringa (Liganga)


Lake Rukwa,Kigoma(Uvinza), Mtwara, Coast region(Bagamoyo) and Zanzibar 


Arusha and Manyara(around Lake Manyara)


Tanga and Zanzibar


Lindi(Songosongo) and Iringa(Makete)


Ruvuma(Songea and Mbinga), Iringa(Ludewa), Sumbawanga(near lake Rukwa) and Mbeya (Kyela)


Mbeya (Chunya)



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