Technological advances have helped mining go faster and safer for miners. The advances that have helped in making mining faster was using pressurized water and being able to mine hard rock. In order to make mining safer, engineers have found ways to pump out water when the mines flood and able to send surface air into the mines to help cool down the tunnels. With these advancements, lots of consequences started to appear. Hydraulic mining led to increased soil erosion that effected farmland and waterways. Hard rock mining, or lode mining, most significant problem was unstable foundation.
For mining, I believe that the environment should be the number one thing to keep in mind. I feel like that if we destroy the environment, then we do not have a place to live or survive. One mine that I think of when it comes to thinking about the environment is the Smith River Mine. When I was in my mineralogy class here at MSU, we visited the Smith River Mine and looked at their rock samples. Because of all of the paperwork that mines have to submit, the Smith River did even more testing. They measure water quality for a lot longer than needed to determine how much the watershed could be affected. They also looked at how to take care of the waste without impacting the environment as well. This mine goes above and beyond what is necessary for any mine to do. I believe that all mines were as strict and environmentally conscious, then we should not have as many future issues concerning the environment. With that in mind, humanity can focus on how to fix the issues from the past mining.
LeCain, T. Between the Heavens and the Earth