Yahoo has a very sad story about the town of Cerro de Pasco, Peru, and how the city is slowly being devoured by a mine.
For more than 50 years, the zinc and lead mine has slowly grown in size. Not only is it slowly consuming the city (a town square and colonial church were recently destroyed), but the rest of the city is facing the effects of the pollution. I encourage you to read the full story on Yahoo.
The area is remarkably sharp in Google Earth, and you can can fly there to check it out yourself using this KML file. Not only is the imagery high-res, but the terrain in the area is sharp as well, allowing you to literally go down into the hole created by the mine.