Mining

DNA from the skin of this mummified sheep leg allowed researchers to study sheep husbandry practices in ancient Iran.

Researchers Recover DNA From 1,600-Year-Old, Naturally Mummified Sheep Leg

The molecules offer insights on ancient farming practices near the Chehrabad salt mine in Iran

Astronaut Luca Parmitano uses a sample-spinning centrifuge on the I.S.S. to expose the bacteria to the equivalent of Mars' gravity.

New Research

Space Station Experiments Show How Microbes Could Be Used for Mining on Mars

Researchers sent bacteria and basalt rock to the ISS to figure out which microscopic organisms can extract useful metals in reduced gravity

"Jumbo Bunkhouse"

Let These Photos Take You to Alaska's Abandoned Mining Towns

Photographer Paul Scannell recounts stories of perilous treks and quiet reflection on his journey to capture the ruins of the northern frontier

The color, known specifically as Falu red, has been a consistent symbol of pastoral life in Sweden.

Why Are All Swedish Cottages Painted Red?

One company has exclusive rights to the source of the iconic pigment—a copper mine's supply of iron deposits that may last just a century more

A visual representation of global methane from January 26, 2018. Red areas indicate higher concentrations of methane swirling in the atmosphere.

New Research

World Methane Emissions Hit New High

Agriculture and fossil fuels drive a surge in global emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas

Rock piles like the one pictured here helped ancient miners navigate the subterranean network.

An Underwater Cave Once Hosted the Americas' Oldest Known Ocher Mine

Humans have valued the rich red pigment for hundreds of thousands of years

A Roman lead ingot recently unearthed in Wales

Cool Finds

Local Man Finds 2,000-Year-Old Roman Lead Ingot in Welsh Field

Rob Jones' discovery adds a tangible piece of evidence to the history of mining in Roman Britain

A deep-sea starfish attached to what is called a polymetallic nodule. These nodules are being targeted by the burgeoning deep-sea mining industry for their mixture of valuable metals including manganese, cobalt, copper and nickel.

Deep-Sea Mining’s Environmental Toll Could Last Decades

A study of microbial communities at the site of a 1989 deep-sea mining test suggests the fragile ecosystem may take half a century to fully recover

The History of the Hard Hat

With some canvas, leather, shelac and black paint, inventor Edward Bullard helped America usher in a new era of workplace safety

Founded in 1854, the town of Ivittuut (formerly Ivigtut) once held the world’s largest reserve of naturally occurring cryolite.

How This Abandoned Mining Town in Greenland Helped Win World War II

Ivittuut held the world’s largest reserve of naturally occurring cryolite, a mineral that was used in the manufacturing of fighter planes

Helpers fill sandbags on the tip above the shattered Pantglas Junior School to divert a spring and avert the risk of further landslides at Aberfan, South Wales.

Based on a True Story

The True Story of the Aberfan Disaster

The 1966 Welsh mining tragedy claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults and features heavily in the third season of Netflix's "The Crown"

Opalised fossils from Lightning Ridge, N.S.W, Australia. From the collection of the Australian Opal Center.
Clockwise from top left: freshwater snail; plesiosaur tooth;
crocodile tooth; pine cone; pelvis bone of ornithopod
dinosaur. Donated through the Australian Government’s
Cultural Gifts Program by (respectively) Down to Earth
Opals, Timothy Seekamp, Stephen Turner and Michael Poben.

Scientists and Miners Team Up to Preserve Opalized Fossils

An ambitious collaboration between paleontologists and a local mining community seeks to conserve the rare fossilized remains

The fungus picks up gold from its surroundings, oxidizes it, and then transforms the dissolved element back into a solid state

Cool Finds

Scientists Discover Fungus That Collects Gold From Its Environment

The Australian fungus could help miners find the next generation of underground gold deposits

New Research

Pompeii Fixed Potholes With Molten Iron

A new study suggests the Romans knew how to melt iron and used it to fill in wheel ruts and cavities on their stone streets

iPhones contain a gold concentration 100 times higher than that of a mineral resource geologists would describe as “high-grade"

What Happens When You Drop an iPhone Into a Blender?

Scientists ground up an iPhone 4s to reveal its chemical composition, highlight rare metals used in manufacturing and encourage device recycling

Miners marched to Lattimer, Pennsylvania, on September 10, 1897, to protest harsh working conditions.

How a 1897 Massacre of Pennsylvania Coal Miners Morphed From a Galvanizing Crisis to Forgotten History

The death of 19 immigrants may have unified the labor movement, but powerful interests left their fates unrecognized until decades later

Grand Canyon National Park

The Decades-Long Political Fight to Save the Grand Canyon

Americans had long known about the wonders of the southwestern landmark, but it wouldn't be until 1919 that it would gain full federal protection

Coal-colored snow has blanketed Siberia's Kuzbass region this winter, provoking local outrage and health concerns

In Siberia, Toxic Black Snow Reveals the Toll of Coal Mining

Authorities in one town reportedly attempted to cover up coal-polluted snow with white paint

A collapsed dam left 200 people missing and at least 58 dead, officials say. Rescuers search using helicopters.

Trending Today

Brazilian Mine Disaster Leaves 58 Dead, 200 Missing

Mine waste and sludge have contaminated a huge stretch of the Paraopeba River

New Research

New Map Chronicles Three Decades of Surface Mining in Central Appalachia

The data shows about 1.5 million acres of forest have been affected by surface and mountaintop mining since the 1970s

loading icon