Exploiting the subsoil

All the resources of the subsoil have the characteristic that they can be depleted in a more or less short period of time. Therefore also rocks and minerals cannot be extracted infinitely by man. And also for these, as in the case of energy, the recommendation is to use them in a cautious, efficient manner, without waste  and specially, wherever possible,  incentivizing material recycling.
Besides the problem of the limited availability of resources in the subsoil, there is a more general problem, which in some cases is even more important, i.e. the pollution that is associated with the extraction activities. In fact, among the various human activities that have a strong impact on the environment, we can surely point out the activities related to extraction of lithoid materials (clay, sand, gravel, stones, etc.) carried out near watercourses, on mountain slopes or on the plains. Very often the owners of the mines abandon the sites in a state of degradation that is so bad that they cannot be recovered. Since a few years various interventions have been promoted, aimed at cleaning up and reinstating the environmental conditions of these mines. The main scope is to reinstate the area that was previously excavated back in the surrounding environment, with regard to the landscape and with regard to the quality of the water and the soil near to the mine, that are often greatly polluted by the mine’s extraction activities.
The best reintegration results have been obtained  when the planned extraction activities of the mine  already contemplated the recovery of the entire area from the very beginning, instead of awaiting the depletion of the extracted resource and the end of the mine extraction activities. In fact it is much harder to intervene afterwards. The restoration activities must be carried out, as far as possible, at the same time as the excavation activity, and must not be postponed to the end of the extracting activity. In doing this, the same machinery and equipment used on the site, can be utilized with an evident containment of costs.

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