Large-scale mining activities have a huge impact on the environment. Determination of the size of the effect and monitoring it is vital. In this study, risk assessment studies in mining areas and the effect of mining on groundwater and ecosystems were investigated. Best management practices and risk assessment steps were determined, especially in areas with huge amounts of mining wastewater. The pollution of groundwater and its reaching humans is a risk of major importance. Our study showed, using many cases with different parameters and countries, that the management of mining wastewater is vital. Environmental impact assessments and monitoring studies must be carried out before operation and at the closure of the mine. Policies must be in place and ready to apply. Factors of climate, geology, ecology and human health must be considered over a long period. Currently, only the developed countries are applying policies and paying attention to the risk. International assessments and health risk assessments should be carried out according to international standards.