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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A Brief Look at the Mining Industry

A lot of what you'll see around you if you take just a brief moment to look is manmade. And how much of it is metal? Your mobile phone components, parts of the pen you're clutching on to, the bracelet you're wearing. The answer is loads. Metals, precious stones, coal, uranium, rock salt and other elements are all obtained from within our Earth. To get to these precious resources, man developed the mining industry.

Stone and metal mining have been around since pre-historic times. This has been revealed by early excavations and archaeology.

Nowadays, mining continues to be a complex and lengthy process that involves not only the resource extraction itself, but also extensive planning procedures.

Economic analysis of the profit potential, environmental assessments and reclamation of the land are of major importance before any industrial action can go ahead. This makes mining incredibly expensive so precision in estimates is vital. The industry thus employs some of the world's leading engineers and sharpest tools in the box.

Once the feasibility of the project has been assessed, the main investor and mining company decide whether to proceed or not.

If the decision is to go ahead, work can begin on setting up the mine and gaining access to the resources.

There are two types of mining: surface and sub-surface, the former of which is much more common. This means obtaining minerals and ores from within layers of sand, gravel, rock or other materials. Sub-surface mining requires shafts to be built for access to the minerals.

Due to the somewhat temporary nature of mining projects, the industry relies largely on temporary structures and equipment rental contracts.

Environmental Impact

A thorough environmental assessment is a requirement. Potential impacts of mining on the local terrain and wildlife include erosion, soil, groundwater and surface water contamination, sinkholes, and loss of biodiversity, and these need to be avoided.

International standards exist to try to eradicate or at least control the damage done to the environment.


Mining requires not only a lot of technical knowledge and skills, but also heavy machinery. As companies are likely to be international, they won't have access to all the necessary tools and equipment on the spot. As a result a lot of this is outsourced from other companies that specialise in the provision of technical machinery.

For excavating the land, bulldozers, drills, explosives and trucks are needed. Special materials are required to secure the shafts and build ways of getting miners and resources in and out. Often, trams and lifts are built to transport people, machinery and ore.

Since many mines are located in areas without access to national power grids, generator hire is of vital importance.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Brief-Look-at-the-Mining-Industry&id=7146211

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