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As rescuers in Brazil search for survivors of a dam collapse, questions abound about the health and environmental risks of the thick, brown, metal-laden mine waste that flowed over buildings. The accident comes after the United Nations and others warned that dam failures in the mining industry are becoming increasingly catastrophic because the structures are growing larger and more numerous around the globe.
A look at some of the hazards:
What Are Mine Tailings and How Are They Stored?
Mine tailings are large volumes of waste rock and other material left behind after companies dig up mineral-bearing ore and run it through mechanical and chemical processes to remove the most valuable components. The tailings are disposed of in ponds or other “impoundments,” often in a mud-like mixture of water and rock known as slurry.
A single large mine can produce hundreds of thousands of tons of tailings each day that are typically pumped into a massive holding area behind a dam, where the waste can remain for decades. Tailings piles can be dry enough on the surface to allow people to walk on them, but the inside is often wet, with a jelly-like consistency. A breach can release a runny, muddy material.
In Friday’s disaster in Brumadinho, Brazil, the dam that failed was 282 feet (86 meters) high and held more than 400 million cubic feet (11.7 million cubic meters) of waste material, according to its owner, Brazilian-mining company Vale.
Are the Tailings Toxic?
The composition of tailings varies from mine to mine, with some containing radioactive material, heavy metals and even cyanide, which is used in silver and gold extraction.
Vale representatives have insisted that the slow-moving mud spreading down the Paraopeba River following Friday’s collapse is composed mostly of silica, or sand, and is non-toxic. But environmental groups contend the iron ore mine waste contains high levels of iron oxide that could cause irreversible damage.
A similar disaster in 2015 at a Vale-operated mine in the same region of Brazil killed 19 people and released 78 million cubic feet (60 million cubic meters) of mud that polluted hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. In that case, a U.N. report found that the waste “contained high levels of toxic heavy metals.”
Beyond the chemical dangers, a huge rush of muddy water into a river system can have long-lasting environmental effects, plastering the riverbed with silt that kills fish and vegetation.
The 2015 accident in Samarco, Brazil, left 250,000 people without drinking water after downstream supply systems were tainted or otherwise disrupted by mud.
Another danger from a tailings dam breach is that the sudden release can overtop a river’s normal channel and deposit contaminants on normally dry land, said Ellen Wohl, a geology professor at Colorado State University.
Those contaminants can later wash back into the river, re-polluting the water, she said. The contaminants can also become airborne if floodwaters deposit them on the riverbank, where they can dry out and blow away, said Marco Kaltofen, who is also a nuclear and chemical engineering researcher at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
How Often Do the Dams Fail and What Happens When They Do?
These types of dam failures are increasingly devastating because mines operate on a much larger scale than in the past, producing more tailings that require bigger dams.
There are an estimated 18,000 tailings dams worldwide, according to David Chambers with the Center for Science in Public Participation, which consults with government agencies and private groups on mining pollution issues.
A 2017 U.N report identified 40 significant dam failures over the prior decade — including in Canada, China, Brazil and Chile. A compilation of dam failures by Chambers and others tallied 435 people killed over the same time period.
“We can’t tell you where a failure is going to occur, but statistically we can tell you they are going to happen,” Chambers said.
What is Being Done to Prevent Tailings Dam Failures?
The dams can be threatened by earthquakes, undiscovered geologic faults and heavy rainstorms, and each of those threats has many unknowns, said Dermot Ross-Brown, a longtime mining consultant and a part-time professor at the Colorado School of Mines.
Mining companies use the best science and consultants they can find, he said. “It’s just that the problem is so big, and they have imperfect knowledge of what the geology is.”‘
Last year’s report from the U.N. recommended that governments and mining companies adopt a “zero-failure” goal for mining impoundments.
In 2016, in the wake of the Samarco spill, the International Council on Mining and Metals said instances of catastrophic mine waste impoundment failures were unacceptable. The organization issued new safety guidelines, and called on companies to use construction methods and operating practices that minimize the chances of accidents.
But the industry’s critics say such calls for reforms have yielded few changes and more dam failures are inevitable without stepped-up construction practices and inspection regimes. They say more also needs to be done to make sure that people are not living or working just downstream of the dams, where they are at the greatest risk in a failure.
“We have the technology and we have the expertise, and the mining industry frankly has fought making those changes,” said Payal Sampat with the U.S.-based environmental group Earthworks. (VOA)
By- Blogger Indifi
EMI is known as equated monthly installments. It is a fixed payment made by the borrower each month to repay the loan amount. The EMI is divided into two loan components. One is the principal amount, and the second is the interest amount. Whether you are applying for a personal loan, business loan, home loan, car loan, or education loan, EMIs are easy to calculate using the EMI loan calculator.
Three parameters based on which EMI calculator works:
- Loan amount.
- Repayment tenure.
- Rate of interest (offered by the lender).
Factors that affect the Loan EMIs
Above, we have discussed the main parameters on which loan EMI is based. Here are the factors that affect the EMIs.
Changes in the loan interest rate: There are three loan interest rates -- fixed, floating, and hybrid.
When an interest rate offered on a loan is fixed, in that scenario, there are no changes in the EMIs.
A floating interest rate is linked to the marginal cost of the fund-based lending rate and can change the loan EMIs. As the rate is flexible, it keeps changing per the repo rate.
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If you have taken the loan on a hybrid interest rate, the interest rate is fixed only for a particular tenure. After that, it is on MCLR to decide the interest rate, and based on the determined interest rate, the EMI changes.
Tenure: When you opt for a loan transfer from one lender to another, there may be a possibility of change in the loan tenure. It will also bring changes in the EMI calculations. If the tenure increases, it will decrease the EMI. In case the tenure is reduced, EMI will increase.
Sample loan chart of a business company Image source: wikimedia commons
The loan amount of repayment is also a reason that affects a loan's EMI. If you make a loan prepayment, it reduces the outstanding principal amount, based on which the EMI amount or tenure is changed.
Benefits of using an online EMI calculator:
- Find out exact EMIs to be paid monthly for any loan.
- Saves time.
- Get a detailed overview of loans applied using the amortization schedule.
- Plan your monthly finances well in advance.
You can set multiple schedules and loan tenures. After a detailed schedule comparison, choose the one that suits well with your financial requirements.
Significance of loan amortization schedule in EMI calculator
A loan amortization schedule data shows the EMI break-ups. It shows how much EMI you need to pay for interest and what you will pay as the principal amount. It is one of the most significant advantages of using the EMI calculator. The EMIs that you pay as principal will keep reducing the loan's principal amount. It will also result in decreasing the interest amount. You will get to know all these things when you use the EMI loan calculator frequently. The amortization schedule is one of the essential features of an EMI loan calculator that helps design the proper prepayment schedule.
The different types of EMI calculators
Home loan EMI calculator
Home loans are one of the most popular and common loans applied for in India. It has a long tenure and a sizable principal amount. Whenever you apply for a home loan, it is essential to do all the EMI calculations in advance. There are various home loan EMI calculators available online with every home loan provider. All that is required to calculate the EMI is the loan amount, tenure, and interest rate. Using a home loan EMI calculator can help you easily plan your finances.
Business loan EMI calculator
Like home loans, business loans also come with a massive principal amount and longer tenures. So, using the business loan online EMI calculator is a smart way to calculate the business loan EMIs. Requirements are the essential loan details, such as repayment tenure, interest rate, and the loan amount. Online, equated monthly installment is automatically calculated at the lender's website.
Personal loan EMI Calculator
Personal loans are multipurpose. It is the reason they are considered as the most applied loan to meet immediate financial requirements. For choosing the right loan amount, you must use the personal loan EMI calculator. It will help you to choose the best interest rate loan offer and tenure. Try to go with the shorter term to pay less interest on the principal amount.
Sample of External Loan amounts Image source: wikimedia commons
Education loan EMI calculator
Education costs increase each year and can cause financial strains on a family. If you are planning to send your child overseas for higher education by applying for an education loan, at that time, the EMI calculator proves to be the best online financial tool. It will help you to decide the right EMI amount where your daily expenses remain unaffected.
Simple interest loan EMI calculator
An EMI calculator is used to calculate the simple interest applicable on the loan amount for a specified tenure. It is one of the most accessible financial tools. All that is required is tenure, a simple interest rate, and the borrowed amount. After that, click on 'calculate' to know the exact EMI to be paid.
Loan against property EMI calculator
If you have any residential or commercial property registered in your name, you can apply for a loan against the property. It is a kind of secured loan, where the property is kept as collateral. To understand how EMI works under this loan scheme, use the loan against the property EMI calculator.
Overall, EMI loan calculators are one of the best financial tools to compare varied loan offers. It provides a clear picture of the total cost of the loan and respective EMIs to be paid monthly. Online EMI calculators are available on every lender's website; whether you are applying for a business loan online, home loan, car loan, personal loan, or any other loan, using the online EMI calculator can help. Just with a click of a mouse, you can keep control of your financial life.
The online EMI loan calculator has been programmed with the formula based on the loan applied. There is no need to worry about the accuracy of the result. All that you are required to share for the calculator to do its job accurately is the right amount, tenure, and interest rate offered by the lender.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
Keywords: Swastika, Symbol, Nazism, Hinduism, Adolf Hitler, United Nations, Buddhism, Jainism
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana