mining

Definition

The process of mining involves the extraction of valuable minerals from the ground, usually from an ore body, a vein, or coal seam. Ore bodies are geological deposits of ore from which profitable minerals and metals can be extracted. A vein is a discrete volume within a rock that is filled with one or more minerals or crystals formed from the flow of water. Coal itself is compacted and hardened plant matter and a seam of it is a deposit found under the ground where millions of years previous lush forests and putrid swamps once reigned. There are two basic types of mines- above ground and below ground. Anyone that works in a mine is known as a miner.



=Above Ground Mining=
Above ground mining is known as open-pit mining or opencast mining. It refers to the method of obtaining rock or minerals from the ground by means of an open pit or borrow.

Open-pit mining is used when deposits of profitable minerals or rock are located near the surface. This occurs where the overburden or the surface material covering a valuable deposit is relatively thin or where the desired deposits make it unsafe to tunnel for them. Examples of this later category include sand, gravel, and cinder. Cinder is a type of small pebble that forms when a volcano erupts and the lava ejected cools quickly on contact with the air as it falls back to the ground; these rocks are so light that they float on water and are used for soap, mulch, and arid farming.

The four major types of open-pit mining are quarries, borrow pits, placer mining, and strip mining.


Quarries are usually the shallowest of the four and are places where stone for construction is cut out of deposits near the surface in various sized blocks.


Borrow pits are places where general materials, such as soil, gravel, or sand, are ‘borrowed’ from the ground never to be returned.


Placer mines are where apparatuses and water are used to get valuable materials to settle out; the most common example of this type is panning for gold.


The final type, strip mining, is where a valuable mineral such as coal or tin is removed from the ground by removing all the ground over it; this is by far the most destructive of the four methods and the local plants and animals take a very long time to reclaim area. All methods except for placer mining face difficulties with drainage and, without regular and conscientious care, these pits will become sentient-made ponds and lakes.



=Below Ground Mining=
Below ground mining is also called sub surface mining. It refers to the method of obtaining rock or minerals from the ground by means of a tunnel or passage of some kind.

There are four major types of sub surface mining: drift mining, slope mining, shaft mining, and hard rock mining.


The final type, hard rock mining, uses various techniques to get to ore bodies by creating underground rooms or stopes which are supported by pillars of standing rock or wooden supports; this type is especially useful for mining gold, copper, and diamonds.


Notable Mines
Blacktree Lignite Mine
Ardel Marble Quarry
Dieun Coal Mine
Blitzkreig Mines
Mines of Emerald Glenn


Related Entries
Metalworking
Blacksmith
Metallurgy
Miner


Equipment
Pickaxe
Shovel


mining

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