This presentation focuses on Diamonds. It is designed to take you through the astonishing and horrific life of the diamond. It takes you along the cradle to grave lifecycle of diamonds, paying particular attention to the social, environmental and public health impacts of the processes associated with diamonds. We start by taking a close look at the South African extraction process of the gem. We will move on to the social impacts by looking at the working conditions of the miners and the health impact that these individuals face on a daily occurrence. We then move through the distribution and look into who eventually owns the majority of the diamonds. This is followed by a conclusion of the cradle to grave lifecycle of the diamond.
Why Diamonds? Around the world, individuals increasingly strive to fulfill a purpose for their existence be purchasing materials that are thought to be valuable for some reason or another. We constantly strive to acquire items such as these precious gems without truly understanding the harsh impacts surrounding the social and environmental aspects of the countries producing the natural resource.
Who says a diamond is needed to show love? It has been embedded in American culture that the diamond ring is the traditional symbol of marriage and love. The wealthy nations use this natural resource to not only show love for one another but it is also used to show a strange sense of success. We tend to feel more important just by having a gleaming rock on our bodies.
Research Area Here you can see the diverse and bountiful eco-regions of South Africa. This is what it should look like if it were not for the extraction of diamonds
Degradation of the Environment Subterranean Mines Alluvial Mining We want to feel as if someone has crawled deep into the earth’s crust to extract something just for us
This is a processing plant owned by the De Beers corporation who are the owners of the majority of mines around the world. The plant is part of the extraction and recovery of the diamond. As you can see in this picture a great deal of land has been degraded to make room for this massive plant
Who Suffers from Diamond Mining? Diamond mines are the heart of many communities in South Africa. By having these diamond mines so close to the homes of the population it is with out question that these individuals suffer from the toxic material floating around in their environment.
Who does the mining? Mining is now very technical and little man power is involved. Machinery has taken jobs away from workers and only few individuals who have been trained to operate these tools are employed. Although there fewer men needed to mine in South Africa, there still tends to be a small demand for individuals who will risk their lives for very little pay.
Health Impacts Related to Miners
Many miner face the risk of respiratory problems due to dust in and around the mine area.
Miners may also face health problems due to heat stress, blood pressure and hypertension.
Life threatening injuries occur often due to the lack of proper safety equipment.
Social Impacts of Diamonds With the loss of jobs due to the development of machinery, communities surrounding the diamond mines are left with little to survive on. When jobs are no where to be found individuals turn to survival mode and conflict is created.
Conclusion We must find an answer to this problem facing South Africa. It is essential to find other means of fulfilling our need to have precious jewels on our fingers or around our necks. Our society should no longer allow the elite diamond Executives to make decisions for us. Our desire to have these gems has ripped opened the heart of this once bountiful nation. After examining the harsh impacts diamond mining has had on South Africa’s environment and society I hope you will think twice about purchasing your next diamond.