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The sights and sounds of mining in the northern counties now linger only in the memories of a few, but not everyone was sad to see the mines go: tales of corruption, moral and ecological, have always dogged mines and miners and there will always be a divide between those who see the remaining shafts, dumps, and opencasts as unsightly scabs and those that esteem them as honorable scars. Nowadays, surface evidence of mining is mostly restricted to the barren heaps of waste rock and gangue discarded during mining--the mine buildings, shaft heads, and elaborate ore treatment and smelting plants have long since decayed into ruins or been swept away in a tide of environmental improvement.