The Issues

At present an estimated 20% of the worlds precious metals are extracted through mine tailings that can be contaminated with other heavy metals. Mining is intrinsically specific which means that metals extracted with the target material are wasted and not captured for other industries. Research suggests that the presence of these metals in mine tailing ponds likely affects water chemistry and microbial processes, influencing regeneration and restoration efforts crucial for broader rainforest remediation.

Artisanal and illegal mines tend to be situated in areas where there is limited infrastructure and access to power supplies. Therefore, mitigation and remediation of the produced mine water is almost non-existent and currently there is no incentive for the miners to implement sustainable mining practices.