Sodium Bentonite is one of the most popular constituents of clump cat litter. Mining bentonite makes business sense only when it is found close to the surface of the earth. Therefore, it is strip mined for cat litter. The top layer of the earth (the overburden) is removed to take away the clay. Even though there are laws that the land must be left as it was and filled and flattened, how scrupulously such laws are followed is anyone’s guess.
Coal is also obtained through strip mining. The following excerpt is both relevant and significant: (more…)