Western states have terrible problems with gold mines that have polluted waterways with arsenic and other chemicals. These costs are almost always paid by the government, meaning my taxes. I do not want more of my taxes to go to helping polluting industries.
In the past, having guidelines, rules, and regulations to control these industries has not worked reliably. I would only agree to gold mining in Virginia if each company involved in extraction put up as much money as the cost of mitigation of the largest gold mining disaster in the US. That money would be given to the state of Virginia to cover the potential cost of cleanup before any mining is done. Of course, no industry would ever agree to this, but this is what should be done. Otherwise, the companies just go bankrupt and taxpayers foot the bill.