The mining industry forms an important pillar of the global economy. While the economic impacts of mining have been thoroughly explored and social impacts recently have received growing attention, increasingly, mining developments are being required to consider how they affect local communities and implement strategies to minimise negative impacts they may be causing. Research is limited, but growing, and studies have identified how mining developments can affect nearby communities and town residents. This article conducted a critical literature review that synthesises contemporary Australian research on the social impacts of mining on local communities. It identified 68 studies organised into seven themes: adverse impacts of increasing non-resident workforces; pressures on infrastructure, housing and services; income inequality; poor child development and education outcomes; pressures on families and relationships; drug and alcohol abuse; and impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. These themes discuss the breadth of findings and critical knowledge gaps of existing research.