Articles on Mining

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Artisanal small-scale gold mining polluted this stream and deforested sections of the Madre de Dios area of Peru. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

Small-scale gold mining operations in developing countries are major sources of toxic mercury pollution, using techniques that haven't changed much since the California Gold Rush 150 years ago.
A sand mine in Nepal. Growing urbanization and its need for concrete is fuelling a global sand crisis. (Michael Hoffmann)

Roving bandits and looted coastlines: How the global appetite for sand is fuelling a crisis

As sand markets boom, entrepreneurs, organized crime and others are cashing in — leaving widespread environmental damage in their wake.
Mining is one of the industries that’s helped by mathematical modelling: models can predict ceiling collapses and keep miners safe. Sunshine Seeds/Shutterstock/For editorial use only

Mathematical modelling: a language that explains the real world

Mathematical modelling is capable of saving lives, assisting in policy and decision-making, and optimising economic growth.
The January 2019 collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, sent mining tailings and mud over the landscape for miles, destroying this bridge and killing 300 people. Andre Penner/AP

Mine waste dams threaten the environment, even when they don’t fail

Dams built to hold enormous quantities of toxic mining waste have a long history of spills. Decisions in the Pacific Northwest threaten three free-flowing rivers there.

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