Fill a tank with water, sugar, and old mobile phones. Add bacteria and stir. Result? Rare earth metals. This is biomining, and it's the way of the future.
A painting by Sakubei Yamamoto.
Yamamoto Family/Collection Yamamoto Sakubee
Throughout the centuries, a number of coal miners have documented their lives with paintings. Some of their works are now in museums and bring the stories of the "pitmen" back to life.
Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Plants on the Arctic tundra absorb mercury from the air, then transfer it to soil when they die.
How do mercury emissions from industrialized countries reach the remote Arctic? Recent research shows that plants on the tundra absorb mercury vapor through their leaves, then pass it into soil.
The legacy of the dirtiest of fuels – coal – has the potential to deliver a low carbon energy future.
Copper and other minerals will be increasingly important to the growing renewable energy sector.
In the decades ahead, our mineral supply will still need to double or triple to meet the demand for electric vehicles and other renewable energy technology.
Rural areas across South Africa are hosting battles for control of land.
A different form of state capture is underway in South Africa's rural areas where traditional leaders are selling off people's land to miners. But communities are fighting back.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leave the Prime Minister’s office holding copies of the federal budget in Ottawa in March. Would Canada benefit from a Budget Honesty Charter of the type that’s had success in Australia?
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Australia's Charter of Budget Honesty could be easily adopted by Canada. Such a charter can include suggestions for constraints and rules that encourage fiscal discipline.
A total 91 per cent of men surveyed at work sites in northern British Columbia said they were interested in learning about healthy eating.
A new workplace wellness program leverages masculine interests and targets blue-collar men - with success.
Public lands along the south fork of the Snake River in southeastern Idaho.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calls himself "a Teddy Roosevelt guy," but supports many actions that critics call anti-conservation, such as shrinking national monuments and fast-tracking energy projects.
Sand for use in hydraulic fracturing operations at a processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 2011.
AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
Overuse of sand for construction and industry is harming the environment and fueling violence around the world. Scientists explain why we need international rules to regulate sand mining and use.
Unemployed South African workers wait for scarce jobs as the economy struggles to create employment.
South Africa's recently announced economic recovery plan failed to break away from the cumbersome neo-liberal line.
alredosaz / shutterstock
A gold rush brings in lots of money in the short-term, but leaves a toxic legacy.
Mining company Banro closed artisanal mining sites like this one in the DRC.
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development/Flickr
Industrial gold mining companies in eastern Congo have faced violent attacks over friction between industrial and artisanal mining.
The central square of Real del Monte, Mexico.
In 1825, more than 130 Cornish miners and engineers landed in Mexico to work in the silver mines. Their legacy lives on.
The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world.
Last week Brazil opened thousands of kilometres of previously protected Amazon rainforest to mining, in a bid to combat ongoing political and economic disasters.
Ondrej Prosicky / shutterstock
It is a delicate – and dangerous – moment for one of the world's most ecologically important nations.
Brine pools and processing areas at the Rockwood lithium plant on the Atacama salt flat in northern Chile.
We need to think about the raw materials of batteries -- where they come from and their environmental cost.
National Archive files reveal how the PM offered preferential treatment to a breakaway union in a bid to weaken its rivals.
Miners in several countries have suffered the side-effects of the gold bonanza.
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Canada rushed to counter a deadly lung disease afflicting gold miners in the early 20th century. The "quick fix" cure that was invented is a symbol of the lurch towards global industrialization.
A worker walks near the Congolese state mining company Gecamines’ in the southern province of Katanga.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has scheduled its 15-year-old mining code for review. The country must ensure reform that benefits its people.