TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH AN ABANDONNED MINE
Watch your step! A problem within old mining districts all over the globe are abandoned mine workings. Every year, hundreds of people injure themselves and several dozen die while “poking about” in retired mines. Dangers can include tumbling down unstable piles of tailings while rock climbing, taking a misstep into what turns out to be an old vertical shaft, drowning in the waters of what was an open pit, and asphyxiating within underground tunnels void of oxygen and heavy in toxic gasses. Hidden within bushes may be tunnel entrances now occupied by bears or wild boar.
What can be done with these old mines? Modern legislation necessitates environmentally sound closure and reclamation, but mining has gone on for millennia. There are thousands of mines “off the books,” where no record remains who was responsible, what they were mining for, or the extent of the mine in the subsurface. Still, there are options for renewed uses and safety measures for these old workings, ten of which I highlight below: