"Coal mining, particularly surface mining, requires large areas of land to be temporarily disturbed," says the World Coal Association
. "This raises the number of environmental challenges, including soil erosion, dust, noise and water pollution, and impacts on local biodiversity." Mitigating the adverse impact on the environment is a challenge that extends to all types of resource extraction. Mines of all types are also faced with a potentially negative impact on social, safety, and political factors.
In recognition of these challenges, most mining companies are taking steps toward "sustainability," and many countries require a sustainability plan in order to maintain a license to operate. From Newmont Mining Corporation's mission statement
, sustainable mining means taking steps toward environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and safety.