What are the downsides to mining?
The major drawback of industrial mining is the damage mining operations cause to the environment.
Removal of large areas of topsoil can destroy habitats thus disturbing ecosystems. In areas of farming it may disturb or destroy productive grazing and crop lands.
Erosion of exposed hillsides, mine dumps, tailings, sand and resultant siltation drainage creeks and rivers can significantly impact the surrounding areas.
The chemicals used in mining operations can leach into the ground water and pollute the area. This may cause contamination of soil, ground water and surface water by the chemicals that may affect the health of the local population.
Other environmental impacts of mining include formation of sinkholes and loss of biodiversity.
In urbanised environments mining may produce noise pollution, dust pollution, visual pollution and radioactive pollution.