This review paper delves into the burgeoning cultural phenomenon of dark tourism, specifically exploring its connection with Mining Heritage Towns (MHTs). The paper navigates the intricate interplay between tourism competitiveness and ethical considerations in these sites laden with historical trauma through a meticulous analysis of existing literature, case studies, and ethical frameworks. Dark tourism, characterised by exploring locations associated with tragedy, has emerged as a global trend, prompting a critical examination of its economic, cultural, and ethical dimensions within mining heritage contexts. Drawing on a wide array of sources, this comprehensive review elucidates the challenges confronting managers of heritage sites, shedding light on the complex ethical dilemmas they face. The paper comprehensively analyses the complex relationship between tourism competitiveness and ethical practices. It critically evaluates the impact of dark tourism on MHTs' economic landscape, explores its cultural implications, and delves into the ethical complexities of such visits, enriching academic discourse and offering valuable guidance for practitioners and policy-makers. The study enhances understanding of dark tourism's role in MHTs and advocates for sustainable tourism development, emphasising ethical considerations in shaping the future of these unique and historically significant sites.