The tin mining industry was once a major contributor to the Malaysian economy. Indeed, Kuala Lumpur has its origin in tin mining. In 1979, Malaysia was producing almost 63,000 tonnes, accounting for 31 percent of world output. It was the world’s leading producer and employed more than 41,000 people. By 1994, the country’s production had fallen to 6,500 tonnes, with only 3,000 people employed in the industry. Whilst, Malaysia’s production fell by 90 percent over the last 15 years, global output fell by only 20 percent. Today, the country hardly exports tin as production is used mostly for the domestic electronic and tinplating industries. The collapse of the tin industry is due to exhaustion of tin deposits, the low tin prices and the high operating costs. But perhaps too much was done to protect it rather than to obselete the industry.
Mining oftens damages lands and creates wastelands. Mining affects the land during mining, large amounts of vegetations are removed to prevent obstacles to tin mining machineries which may hinder work progress. Subsequently, soil erosion occurs and this leads to the formation of large gaping holes in the groung. Rainwater fills up this hole and mining pools are formed. This mining pool contains large amounts of tailings left behind by alluvial mining which have been completely leached of most plant nutrients. These pools are therefore unable to support any forms of living things and areas like this becomes barren.