What Are the Disadvantages of Mining?

disadvantages-mining Credit: Tyler Stablefordd/Stone/Getty Images

The major drawback of industrial mining is the damage mining operations cause to the environment. Removal of large areas of topsoil can destroy habitats, and the chemicals used in mining operations can leach into the groundwater and pollute the area. Air pollution and radioactive pollution are other possible downsides.

Another potential danger is geologic instability. In 1980, a salt mine underneath Lake Peigneur in Louisiana collapsed when an oil drilling operation breached part of the mine, and the resulting collapse sucked in barges, vehicles and buildings. Once the lake settled, the entire shoreline and region had been drastically changed by the collapse.