Outline of mining

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The hammer and pick, two basic tools traditionally used in mining for breaking rock, together form a main heraldic symbol of mining and miners. It is also used to mark the location of mines on maps. In other locations, the pickaxe and shovel fill the same purpose

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to mining:

Mining – extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, usually (but not always) from an ore body, vein or (coal) seam. Any material that cannot be grown from agricultural processes, or created artificially in a laboratory or factory, is usually mined.

Basic Concepts[edit]

Main article: Mining

Geology of mining[edit]

Basic terms[edit]

  • Mineral
  • Rock (geology), an aggregate material usually made up of a number of minerals
  • Ore, rock containing a desired mineral
    • Ore genesis, the geological processes by which ore is formed and deposited
    • Ore grade, the amount of a desired mineral or metal that a quantity of ore contains
      • high grade ores are rich in the mineral desired, low-grade ores have less of the mineral desired
    • Gangue, minerals within the ore that are not desired; these are removed during ore processing
    • Vein (geology) a geological formation that often contains ore
  • Overburden, the material on top of a given mineral deposit (in surface mining, it has to be removed)

Finding ore[edit]

Materials mined[edit]

Some examples of materials that are extracted from the earth by mining include:

Types of mining and techniques[edit]

Surface mining[edit]

  • Surface mining, mining conducted down into the ground, but with the sky open above
  • Open-pit mining, where the overburden is removed and put in a different location, leaving a large pit at the end.
  • Strip mining, where the overburden is stripped off and placed onto the area where the mineral (usually coal) has already been mined out, allowing the surface to be returned to roughly how it was before
  • Mountaintop removal mining, where the overburden on a mountain is pushed off the mountain into the adjacent valley
  • Quarrying
  • Placer mining
  • Dredging
  • Hydraulic mining, using high-pressure jets of water to blast soil or hillsides apart

Underground mining[edit]

Other methods[edit]

Mining equipment[edit]

Excavation[edit]

Heavy machinery[edit]

  • Steam shovel, used from the 19th century to the 1930s
  • Power shovel, derived from the steam shovel, but using electricity instead of steam
  • Excavator, derived from the steam shovel, but using hydraulics or pneumatics instead of steam
  • Draglines use a buckets attached to long cable lines, rather than affixed to a beam
  • Bucket-wheel excavator, the largest moving land machines ever built
  • Dredge

Blasting[edit]

Main article: rock blasting
  • Explosives
    • Gunpowder or black powder, used from the 17th century to the mid-19th century
    • Dynamite, used from the mid-19th century into the 20th century, still used some today
    • ANFO, used from the 20th century, and the primary explosive in use today
  • Blasting gear
    • Detonator, a small explosive charge used to set off the main explosive
    • Blasting machine, a device used to generate or send an electric charge to the denators

Transport[edit]

Engines used in mining

Liquid mining[edit]

Safety and environment[edit]

Processing[edit]

Mining waste[edit]

  • Spoil tip, a pile where overburden is placed (which has NOT been processed)
  • Tailings, waste mineral material (gangue) leftover AFTER processing
  • Slag, material leftover from smelting
  • Acid mine drainage, liquid leached out of mines

Mining hazards and safety[edit]

History of mining[edit]

Main article: History of mining

Future of mining[edit]

People associated with mining[edit]

  • miner, is a person who is involved in the act of mining
  • prospector, a person who is expert in searching for and assessing the value of

Mining scholars[edit]

Leaders and innovators in mining[edit]

Organizations[edit]

Mining, by country[edit]

Mining in general, by country[edit]

Mining of specific minerals, by country[edit]

Mining lists[edit]

Main article: List of mining topics

See also[edit]

External links[edit]