Mining, since its origin, generally has been predicated and conducted on the principles of maximum extraction consistent with minimally acceptable factors of safety for the mine workers. In most cases, the ore or other mineral of value was recovered from areas that were generally unpopulated, and the commodity was shipped to other locations for further processing into the raw material of industry. The miners were pleased to have work, wages, and benefits. Vast fortunes were accumulated by the interests that financed and promoted the mining. For most of its history mining did not have to recognize the long-lasting environmental impacts...

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