Mining sites often pollute and leave behind soil that have been poisoned from the chemicals used in illegal processing of minerals. To rehabilitate toxic soil, this is one potential solution.
“[…] The fern was spotted in the mossy areas of an abandoned mining site in the province of Surigao del Norte by the scientists scouring major mining sites across the Philippines to study copper metallophytes under a government-funded research program.
The study of metallophytes, plants that have the ability to thrive on soils with high concentrations of heavy metals that are too toxic for other plant species, has been a growing interest among scholars, particularly for their possible use in phytoremediation, the process of cleaning up mineral-rich soil and groundwater using plants and trees.”
Source: Philippine fern efficiently absorbs arsenic, copper from toxic mining soil