Mine or not to Mine

impacts of mining on the enviornment and community

Impacts of Mining

The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, contamination of soil, groundwater, surface water by chemicals from mining processes.


Strip Mining

- Strip mining destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats. Trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. This in turn leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land

  • - When rain washes the loosened top soil into streams, sediments pollute waterways. This can damage fish and smother plant life downstream, and cause disfiguration of river streams, which leads to flooding.
  • - Strip mining causes dust and noise pollution when top soil is disrupted with heavy machinery and coal dust is created in mines.

  • Coal Mine Methane

    Coal mine methane, less prevalent in the atmosphere than CO2, but 20 times as powerful as a greenhouse gas, forms during the geological formation of coal, and is released during the coal mining process. Most coal mine methane come from underground mines. However, despite big investment in research, only about 50 such projects exist worldwide.

    • In China, which mines more than 95% of its coal underground, about 300 of the state-owned mines are classified as methane-outburst prone.

    Worldwide emissions are expected to increase by 20% in the next 12 years.