Can you briefly describe the mining process?
Rocks are crushed, minerals are enriched.
When there is a mine, people tend to crush rocks. The smaller material is enriched by some methods. For gold, cyanide is used to extract gold from other materials.
Figure provided below shows steps used in copper mining:
Mine --> Mill --> Smelters --> Refining ---> Industries
From these steps, mine (ore and waste), mill and smelters are subject to leaching (water+material in solution). This is a cause of water pollution.