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Articles on Mines

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Methane is the world’s second most abundant greenhouse gas. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as CO2, but it’s many times more potent. Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Reducing methane is crucial for protecting climate and health, and it can pay for itself – so why aren’t more companies doing it?

The lead author of a new UN report on methane explains the findings and how oil and gas companies could be making money and saving the climate at the same time.
While people may be familiar with precious metals, which are often at the heart of conflicts, there are also metals that are essential to good health. (Shutterstock)

Rare metals play a strategic and essential role in health

Iron fights anemia. Bismuth relieves gastric problems. Lithium acts against depression and gold can treat rheumatoid arthritis. Metals are precious tools for good health.
After 48 hours of frantic effort, Brazilian rescue workers have called off their search for survivors at a collapsed dam in Minas Gerais state. AP Photo/Leo Correa

Dam collapse at Brazilian mine exposes grave safety problems

Nearly 1,800 Brazilian dams are at risk of failure, according to the government. Fixing them is expensive – but ignoring aging dams can have considerable social, economic and environmental costs.
Old mine sites suffer many fates, which range from simply being abandoned to being incorporated into towns or turned into an open-air museum in the case of Gwalia, Western Australia.

Afterlife of the mine: lessons in how towns remake challenging sites

The industrial patterns of mining shaped many Australian towns, which found varied uses for disused mine sites. The mining boom ensures the challenges these sites present will be with us a long time.
The urban landscape is complex and ever-changing in cities such as Perth, but digital aerial photography can now monitor even the smallest changes. Wikimedia Commons

The planner’s new best friend: we can now track land-use changes on a scale of centimetres

Constant, complex changes in cities and mine sites are hard to monitor. Drawing on digital aerial photography, it’s now possible to track land-use and vegetation changes in areas as small as 10-20cm.
Pregnant women in three Australian cities are not told that lead exposure during pregnancy is linked to miscarriage and early delivery. Flickr/Luca Montanari

Pregnant women and parents misled about dangers of living with lead pollution

Parents in three Australian states are being given misleading advice about the dangers of lead to babies and small children – including failing to warn pregnant women about miscarriage risks.
Could municipal biosolids be a trove of tiny treasure? Heather Lowers, USGS Denver Microbeam Laboratory

Mining for metals in society’s waste

Mining waste rock from historic mines or even treated sewage to find useful metals and minerals could be a sustainable way to meet demand for these finite resources.

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