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|Tracey Khanna, Assistant Editor of UK?s Mining Magazine discusses some of the new and important environmental challenges, physical and social, that are facing mining companies. The tide of public opinion has turned strongly against those companies which are unable to show that they are practising responsible environmental stewardship. This is, no doubt, in part due to the recent focus of the international media on environmental issues and constantly improving means of communications, which has brought the whole subject of mining and the environment to those who, in the past, had only a limited awareness of the industry. Mining companies today face new and important challenges with regard to the environment, both physical and social. New technology and a greater understanding of waste management techniques has helped to bring about improved handling and disposal of mines wastes, so reducing some of the impacts. However, improved technology has also brought about the economic viability of exploiting increasingly lower-grade ore from open pits, resulting in a greater visual impact.|