As Gold Prices Spike, Mines Go Deeper

As Gold Prices Spike, Mines Go Deeper
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This gold mining dump near downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, still contains traces of the precious metal.

Gold mining in South Africa has created large amounts of tailings, many of which have been deposited in impoundments near Johannesburg, according to a 2000 study in the journal Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment.

Poor management of most of these sites have led to seepage, which adversely affects soils and water quality, according to the study.

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—Photograph by Richard du Toit/Getty Images
 
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