Many countries with rich mineral deposits benefit from the jobs on offer in the mining industry. But mining can have a huge impact on the land and communities around the mines.
An increasing number of researchers say mining in developing countries should be discouraged. Their greatest concerns are often the social and cultural repercussions of mining, particularly when local populations are affected.
Nilanjana Bhowmick visited the Jharia coalfield in Bihar, India to talk to some of the people who live and work around the mines.