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The world today depends on the wide range of natural resources that are excavated through mining.
Be it gold or copper, petroleum or natural gas, several natural resources are extracted from beneath the surface of the Earth through mining. Since civilization, different mining techniques have been used to get these valuable minerals.
Copper and gold were the first unearthed metals, but petroleum is the most used one. It has been found that petroleum is used in 6,000 daily items. Do you know around 80% of gold is yet to be discovered and they remain buried beneath the Earth's layers?
Coal is the first known mine that appeared around 20,000-40,000 years ago in South Africa. But mining did not become an important industry till civilization advanced sometime around 7,000-10,000 years ago. Before that, minerals available in abundance were metallic and copper. However, silver, mercury, and gold were discovered over time.
A technological breakthrough happened after civilization when the application of fire to mined minerals was discovered. With heat, excavated elements were transformed, and different objects were formed. With the use of fire and the innovation of pottery technology, different minerals were developed.
Over 6,000 years ago, silver and gold were smelted from ore. Tin was discovered around 5,500 years ago in mining history. After that, it was mixed with copper to make bronze. Slowly, many other minerals were found, including asphalt and cobalt.
With Mediterranean civilization, this industry became an integral part of many countries. The extraction from silver mines made Athens wealthy, which fell apart after Sparta took control of these locations forcefully. In this area, sufficient timber wasn't available, so galleries and shafts were used for mining, supported by stone columns. However, extracting ore was a death penalty which was further changed.
During the rise of Europe, miners got rights from the government to take profits of metals and ores found there. However, the government always took a share of these rights and collected taxes on them. After civilization, there was a growth in the mining industry, and it has helped in funding many countries.
Mined resources are important for both present and future generations. There has also been a rise in the usage of electronics that has increased the demand for copper. Additionally, green energy resources need more extensive mined metals. That's why mining has become more compatible with the increase in the global population.
The process of mining is complicated, hazardous, and expensive. It needs specialized tools, techniques, skills, and manpower to extract minerals from deep inside the Earth's core. Also, several measures are needed to be taken to reduce its negative impact on the environment over time, as well as to ensure the safety of miners. Here are a few facts to elaborate on the mining process.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) or skilled workers use geological knowledge in the first mining stage to find out a specific ore. Two methods are available to work on this step, direct and indirect methods. The first method focuses on examining the deposits using video prospecting or visual examination. In the second one, seismic, radiometric, and magnetic methods are used to find deposits deeper in the core.
The core samples of gold or coal are collected to find out the weight and grade of these deposits. In this stage, diamond drills are used to get samples. After the deposit value is found, a study is conducted to take a call on whether to get the deposits or not.
After finding out the details of the deposits, the next task is to prepare a plan. It will include economically viable, safe, socially responsible, and environmentally sound aspects. Next, a path is established to get to the mineral deposits. This path will need more excavation, mining rights, and licenses from the government to start the process.
Two processes followed in this step are surface mining and underground mining. Surface mining starts with stripping the burden like soil, rock, and ecosystem lying above the Earth's surface. Underground mining takes place by digging sink shafts and tunnels. It is followed when the mineral deposits or ore lie below the surface. After excavation, the waste products are separated, and ore is transported to extract coal or other things. Special care is taken to avoid negative effects on the environment, which otherwise can cause airborne diseases.
The final step is to process the ore and then ship them for sale. The main objectives of all these steps are to maintain the water quality, reduce environmental effects, remove hazardous and waste materials, and protect the land from erosion.
Every piece of tool used by miners has a unique purpose. When working with the mining industry, you will come across some of the below-mentioned common tools used for extracting iron, coal, gold, copper, and so on.
Blasting tools are important for the mining industry as they are used to break down rocks. These tools are also used in removing pockets of unwanted materials that prevent mining activities. This specialized tool is used for open pit and underground mining operations for coal, gold, and other ores.
Drills are important to carry out underground mining operations when minerals and rocks are located deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Some of the specialized tools used in extracting gold, coal, copper, or iron are diggers, trucks, and loaders. Directional drilling is also a type used for mining to drill wells.
Earthmovers are used to carry loose earth and soil from one place to another. They have been used in the mining industry since ancient times. They are heavy, and without them, the mining sector would not survive.
From smartphones you use to cars used for driving, almost all industries rely on mining. Here are some of the major mining industries fulfilling the rising demand.
Glencore PLC (GLNCY) is a Switzerland-based multinational mining and trading firm that produces mineral, energy, metal, and agricultural commodities. It serves different sectors globally, like steel, automotive, manufacturing of batteries, and power generation.
BHP Group Ltd. is an Australian-based international firm that mines and explores minerals like titanium, nickel, coal, gold, and copper. This firm is also known for exploring petroleum, refining, and production services, serving customers worldwide.
Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. is a China-based mining company engaged in the processing and extracting of scattered and precious metals. They deal with sulphuric acid, copper cathode, cement, gold, copper tube, copper rod, and copper foil.
What are the three facts about mining?
The three facts about mining are:
The world's biggest crude iron ore reserve is present in Australia.
You can mold pure gold just by using your hands.
The US has the largest open-pit mine in the world, which is in Utah.
What are mining and its causes?
The process of extraction of resources from beneath the surface of the Earth is known as mining. Mining is usually done to obtain coal, gold, and other ore deposits. The main causes of mining are growth in income and population, advancement in technology, increase in economic factors of different countries, and many more.
Is mining good for society?
Mining is a good source of income and increases opportunities for economic growth. However, it is not healthy for the environment, and this job involves severe health hazards.
How does mining affect the air?
Mining operations affect the quality of the air when unrefined minerals are excavated from the Earth by miners. It can also cause airborne diseases, mainly to miners.
Can we live without mining?
The modern world can't function without mining. Whether it is iron ore, gold, coal, copper, or iron, they are important for different industries.
How is land restored after mining?
Rehabilitation and rearrangement works are carried out to restore the land after completing mining activities.
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