Butte, Montana — and I highly suggest reading the link below. It’s full of fascinating information about the environmental effects of mining. Even though it was the hub of a major mining boom, and was once swimming in cash, the harmful environmental effects of mining have left parts of it desolate and unable to sustain any life.
The idea that there is no life in the mining areas around Butte is incorrect. In fact, the Clark Fork River, which was absolutely killed by mine and smelter effluent, has come back to life, with trout fisheries and other abundant life, all normal. It has cost a lot to do the remediation – over $1 billion and counting, but it is working. Most other areas that contained mine waste have also been remediated and many are beautiffully landscaped, some are parklands now. Even the Berkeley Pit has microbes in it, unique to the Berkeley Pit water, that show activity against certain types of cancer. No guarantees, but research seems promising.
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