Modern mining operations actively strive to mitigate potential environmental consequences of extracting metals, and such operations are strictly regulated in the United States.
Operations and waste products associated with metal extraction and processing are the principal causes of environmental concerns about metal mining. Concerns include: *Physical disturbances to the landscape. *Soil and water contamination *Air contamination *Public safety
At some sites, gas and particulate emissions that were released to the atmosphere from historical smelting operations have been a source of human health concerns and environmental impacts.
Old mining sites are inherently interesting to people, but potentially dangerous as well. They may have surface pits, exposed or hidden entrances to underground workings, or old intriguing buildings. Another safety consideration at some mine sites is ground sinking or “subsidence.”