At least 23 million people around the world live on flood-plains contaminated by potentially harmful concentrations of toxic waste from metal-mining activity, according to a study.
UK scientists mapped the world’s 22,609 active and 159,735 abandoned metal mines and calculated the extent of pollution from them.
Chemicals can leach from mining operations into soil and waterways.
The researchers say future mines have to be planned “very carefully”.
This is particularly critical as the demand surges for metals that will support battery technology and electrification, including lithium and copper, says Prof Mark Macklin from the University of Lincoln, who led the research.
Read more: bbc.com