Mining ~ Environmental Issues
Small and large mining operations across the globe, both surface mining and underground mining, have contributed heavily to environmental issues.
What Is Mining
Mining refers to the extraction of metals and minerals from the Earth. The most common types of mining include: coal mining, gold mining, uranium mining, and silver mining.
What Causes Environmental Issues With Mining / Causes Of Environmental Issues
The top environmental issues associated with mining include:
•deforestation and destruction of natural habitat
•air pollution (from particles released from mining operations)
•water pollution and contamination (from chemicals and mine tailings)
•soil erosion and formation of sinkholes
•release of harmful gases (such as coal mine methane)
•acid mine drainage
Facts About Environmental Issues With Mining
Here are facts about environmental issues and mining:
•Small scale mining operations (even those involving just a few men) can be destructive, because small mine operations are less apt to be concerned about sustainability or protecting the environment.
•Hundreds of dormant mining operations in the United States, many of which have been shut down since the early 1900s, are now EPA Superfund sites.
•In China and India, underground coal fires burn uncontrollably, destroying millions of pounds of coal each year and contributing heavily to CO2 emissions.
•In the United States, from 1930 to 2000, more than 5.9 million acres of land were significantly altered because of coal mining.