Global Scenarios of Metal Mining, Environmental Repercussions, Public Policies, and Sustainability: A Review

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With rising valuation of mineral commodities, mining has been envisioned as a profitable industry regardless of many challenges it entails. This comprehensive review provides the state of knowledge about several aspects of the metal mining industry, including (a) the basic mining processes with reasons for mine closure, (b) the potential environmental and human health impacts associated with mining, (c) the potential techniques for impact mitigation, (d) the latest production statistics for the base and precious metals with identification of currently operational major metal mines for different countries, and (e) how mining activities are regulated in different nations. Finally, the authors provide critical appraisal on the debatable issue of mining and sustainability to stimulate thoughts on how metal mining can be made sustainable, and suggest a path forward.