Readers may be aware that the mining industry is currently experiencing significant financial challenges due to lack of demand. As a result, workers are being laid off, companies are filing for bankruptcy, and mines are being abandoned. Along with these mine closings, there is an increased risk to the environment.
As mines are increasingly abandoned, the risk of environmental pollution increases, which can impact local natural environments and populations. Mining companies, facing their own challenges, are not likely to take precautions to prevent possible pollution or clean it up. This is all the more likely given that mining companies are allowed to make promises to clean up abandoned mines without actually setting aside the funds necessary to do so. This practice is known as self-bonding.