Most substances obtained from the earth are found by mining. Mining provides iron for steel making, salt for food, coal for fuel, and gold, silver, and diamonds for jewelry. Mined materials also include stone for building, phosphate for fertilizer, and gravel for highways.
Placer mining involves any type of mining where raw minerals are deposited in sand or gravel or on the surface and are picked up without having to drive, use dynamite or any other significant means. The word placer means "sand bank" in Spanish. Specific types of placer mining are panning, dredging, or sluicing.
Hardrock mining entails digging into solid rock to find minerals usually in their ore form (the metal plus oxygen). To do this, miners used picks and shovels, rock drills,and dynamite. Miners dug either shafts that went straight down to follow ore bodies and veins, or tunnels which went somewhat horizontal into rock faces.
Before a company can begin extracting coal, a multitude of government permits – federal, state and local – are required. The process of obtaining these permits is time-consuming (up to 3 years) and costly. The law requires that a period of time then be allowed for public review and comment so that citizen concerns are adequately addressed. Additionally, a coal operator must post a performance bond sufficient to cover the cost of restoring the site to assure reclamation (ranging as high as $10,000 per acre).
Wildlife is also threatened. Mining changes the land and habitats of wildlife. Mining can cause landslides, and pollutes water and soil. A large amount of wastes are caused by mining. Without reclamation many areas would look like this….