Mining will fragment, if not destroy habitat. It can poison waters. Some of these negative impacts are permanent. For example, there are at least 10,000 abandoned mines across Canada. This means that there is no company to take responsibility for the clean up of these mines, even when there is contamination. When there is no company that is responsible for the clean up, the government is on the hook for clean up and rehabilitation. This means that taxpayers are ultimately responsible for a mining company's mess. Before it is licensed, mining companies must produce a closure plan that outlines how it expects to rehabilitate a mine site. There have been no cases of a successfully rehabilitated hard rock mine site in Canada.
4 June 2009, 8.15pm EDT