Heavy industry

economic-dictionary

Heavy industry is one that uses or extracts large amounts of raw materials and transforms them. In this way, it develops products that will later be required by other industries.

That is, heavy industry is responsible for processing the resources extracted from nature to create goods that can then be used by other sectors.

For example, we have the chemical industry that manufactures fertilizers that will later be used for agricultural production.

Heavy industry characteristics

The main characteristics of heavy industry are:

  • It uses a large amount of inputs or materials, if we compare it with light industry.
  • It has a significant environmental impact so it cannot be developed very close to urban or residential areas.
  • Continuing with the previous point, it usually generates a high degree of pollution, with solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • They are activities necessary for the subsequent development of final goods in other industries.
  • It not only requires large amounts of raw material, but also water and energy.

Main activities of heavy industry

The main activities of heavy industry are:

  • Extractive Industries: Refers to obtaining resources from nature, such as minerals and oil.
  • Cement companies: It develops inputs that are used for the construction activity, and not only for building real estate, but also for large infrastructures such as bridges or roads.
  • Iron and steel industry: It involves the processing of iron to obtain different types of alloys such as steel. Thus, semi-finished products such as tubes are manufactured that will be used in other industries.
  • Chemistry: Refers to the processing of raw materials such as water, salt, sulfur, and various fossil elements (such as oil, coal, and natural gas). In this way, goods are produced that can be used in other sectors, such as gasoline that is obtained from oil.

Heavy industry example

An example of heavy industry is mining that is dedicated to the extraction of copper. Thus, companies dedicated to this area first carry out exploration work to find deposits.

Once the mineral reserve is found, we proceed with obtaining the respective permits from the authorities and normally must negotiate with the population that may live near the mine. Later, after obtaining the license, establishments are built where the metal will be processed.

The mining company must assure the authority that it will adequately handle the environmental issue, so that negative externalities are not generated to citizens, causing, for example, health problems.

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