Since 1988 environmentalists, governments, and other interested parties have been growing weary of the increasing rate of destruction of coral reefs. All around the world, coral reefs are dying. As of 2008, it is estimated that about 19% of the of the world’s coral reefs had already been lost. By 2030, up to 80% of the world’s coral reefs will be at risk solely due to human related activities. To many, the biggest concern is human related activities that are a direct threat to coral reefs. Mining activities can damage coral reefs if not done carefully.
Coral mining is becoming a threat to coral reefs due to the huge demand for coral that is used for decorating buildings. In Islands such as Maldives coral is the only building material available. Also, coral is 50% cheaper than conventional building material such as cement and bricks. Its availability, price, and beauty make coral a perfect building material, as such there has been increasing demand for coral all over the world. Many industries and individuals are now actively involved in the mining of coral.
It is, however, important to note that coral stone is different from coral. Coral mining is the process of actively removing live coral directly from the sea. The process is very destructive to the sea and is sometimes carried out by dangerous machines such as dredgers that expedite the pilferage of coral reefs. Many people tend to mistake mining of coral stones with coral mining. The assumption is that coral stone is also gotten directly from the sea and as such is a direct threat to coral reefs.
Coral stone is formed from fossils of sea organisms such as calcareous algae, corals from which it gets its name and other organisms with a calcium carbonate base. The substance is formed from fossils that were in the sea thousands or even up to millions of years ago. Quarries where the coral stone is mined from, are outside the sea and as such do not present any risk whatsoever to coral reefs.
In contrast to the mining of coral reefs, the process of coral stone mining does not involve coral reefs in any way. Coral stone is first mined from the quarry and cut into blocks that are then transported to be used on various building sites. Moreover, the process is not as intense as the mining of coral reefs and thus is economically beneficial.
However mining of any material especially using the open cast method does affect the environment. It is sometimes very intensive and involves digging deep into the earth. Miners thus make it a point to ‘re-furbish’ these areas by growing trees by the national and international requirements of green foresting.
Coral stones have been used for a very long time. In the Americas, for instance, it was utilized by both villagers to make lasting huts and houses and by the Spanish in making hospitals and churches that stand to this day. In addition to durability, the coral stone is also very brightly colored in various shades making it an excellent material for beautifying your building.