What Are the Pros and Cons of Mining?


Quick Answer

The pros of mining include providing needed resources and creating jobs that help to bolster the economy. However, mining also can create long-lasting environmental damage that harms people for years after the mine closes.

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Full Answer

Coal, oil and natural gas mining provide fuel that is used to power cars, heat homes and provide electricity. In rural areas, residents may not have many other options for employment. Support services also spring up, so even people who do not work in the mines may have an easier time finding jobs. The money from mining may lead to improved healthcare access and better schools in remote and impoverished communities.

However, sometimes these economic booms can be short-lived. When the raw materials run out, the mine closes and people are left without jobs. Mining also results in environmental destruction that can ruin pristine wilderness and harm people who live through means of hunting and farming. Sometimes mines accidentally release toxic runoff that can contaminate local water supplies. Mining can also harm the economy in areas that rely on tourism because the noise and visible damage can deter tourists. Depending on the area, mining may introduce invasive species or disrupt wildlife migration patterns, which leads to further environmental destruction.

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