How Does Gold Mining Affect the Environment?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 4:17:23 AM ET
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Gold mining affects the environment in many negative ways, including the release of large amounts of exhaust from heavy equipment and transport, toxic drainage into nearby waterways and the release of mercury fumes from ore processing. Gold is most commonly mined in open pits dug specifically for that purpose. Even in the richest of mines, the gold content is a tiny fraction of the material dug up.