Statistically, coal mining is still more dangerous than other types of mining, but only slightly. Underground mining can cause tunnels to collapse and land to subside (Betournay, 201). It involves large-scale movements of rocks and residual vegetation, similar to open-pit mining. In addition, like most traditional forms of mining, underground mining can release toxic compounds into air and water.
As water acquires harmful concentrations of minerals and heavy metals, it becomes a pollutant. This contaminated water can contaminate the region surrounding the mine and beyond (Miranda, Blanco-Uribe Q. Mercury is commonly used as an amalgamation agent to facilitate the recovery of some precious minerals (Miranda et al. Mercury waste then becomes a major source of concern, and its inadequate disposal can cause pollution of the atmosphere and neighboring bodies of water.
Most underground mining operations increase sedimentation in nearby rivers through the use of hydraulic pumps and suction dredges; cleaning with hydraulic pumps removes the upper layer of soil, of great ecological value, containing seed banks, making it difficult to recover vegetation (Miranda et al. Deforestation due to mining leads to the disintegration of biomes and contributes to the effects of erosion. Landslides, explosions and toxic air make mining one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.