Quarrying and mining have played a fundamental role in the development of society over the last 2 million years. In addition, it generates information and specimens that support the advancement of geoscience and creates exposures that provide a resource for scientific study, education, training and geotourism; a resource that would not otherwise exist. Unsurprisingly, features exposed as a result of current and past quarrying and mining feature heavily within geoconservation inventories of many countries. Mineral extraction can, in some circumstances, damage and destroy elements of geoheritage, especially where it coincides with finite features such as caves or karst, which are irreplaceable if lost. However, the many opportunities for geoconservation that arise from mineral extraction, including creation of new exposure, richer and larger site inventories and protected site series, opportunities to rescue and record material in operating quarries and mines, increased levels of research, education and geotourism and access to funding, largely outweigh the potential threats. Partnership between the mineral extraction industry and geoconservationists is required to realise the opportunities for geoconservation. Experience of partnership working in England at industry, company and site-based level is used to explore how best to deliver geoconservation in quarries and mines at the planning, operating and restoration stages of mineral extraction. Partnership between geoconservationists and the mineral extraction industry, whether it is to seek to avoid impacts on geoheritage or to realise the many opportunities it presents, is deemed essential to the future of geoconservation.
Geoheritage – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 21, 2016
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