What is the Environmental Impact of Mining?

Mining can have adverse effects on the surrounding environment.

Many governments have set up environmental and rehabilitation policies that govern and control mining companies to ensure that after the mining procedures are due, the mining sites are left in right shapes just as they were initially. Many countries have taken up mining as a source of income and revenue, and therefore, have set up industries for the mining process without regard to the environmental impact of mining.

Environmental Impact of Mining

The environmental impacts of the mining process includes the formation of sinkholes, contamination of soil and water, degradation, and loss of biodiversity have resulted in negative implications on the environment and the ecosystem that surrounds people and animals.

Contamination of Soil and Water

The manufacture and transport of heavy metals like iron and copper have led to the pollution of water systems and the environment, and this has led to water contamination and death of lives. The high demand for metals from around the globe has led to the production of heavy metals in large numbers which in return end up spoiling the environment. The improper disposal of water used during the mining process leads to contamination of surrounding water sources. The toxic chemicals found in the wastewater create unfavorable conditions for aquatic life. Metals contaminate surrounding soil in addition to waterways. Animals feeding on plants from contaminated soil can lead to the death of livestock or other health complications. The reduction of these animals from the ecosystem can lead to their possible extinction, and in return, this leads to environmental degradation.

Effects on Humans

Mining activities have negative impacts on the health of human beings who work in the mining sites. Inhaling chemicals and being in direct with heavy metals leads to ailments and possible deaths. Some of the mining processes are usually dangerous, and on occasions, workers have died during working or mining sites have collapsed leading to deaths of several people.

Lose of Biodiversity

Once the process is complete, sinkholes are usually left in adverse conditions. The degraded lands are a waste, and nothing more can be done to it, for instance, practicing agriculture. The clearance of land to construct mining industries leads to loss of biodiversity where most species of plants and animals go through exploitation leading to a disruption of the ecosystem. Depletion of nature can sometimes bring forth extinction.


The most important solution for the effects of mining on the environment is the land reclamation process of the lands that have been left unused after mining. Countries where mining is a significant source of income, revenue and employment can enforce policies and laws for mining companies to ensure that after the mining sites are in a complete process, the lands undergo reclamation.

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