Mining is one of the greatest industries that offer some of the most valuable materials like iron and coal, petroleum, diamonds and other minerals.
Fact 1 What Is Mining
Mining is the method of extracting minerals from the earth available in solid, liquid and gaseous forms are ores, seams and veins. Mining helps to obtain those non-renewable resources that cannot be either cultivated or grown or manufactured in factories and laboratories. The materials that are recovered through mining are metals, coal, gem stones like diamonds, base metals, petroleum, oil shale, rock salt, gravel, potash, clay, dimension stone, iron and others.
Fact 2 Types Of Mining
There are basically 2 types of mining methods namely surface mining and underground mining.
In surface mining, the surface dirt, rocks and vegetation are removed to reach out to the valuables deposited under the ground. This is often done as quarrying, strip mining and as open pit mining.
Underground mining is a complicated process where tunnels or shafts are made on the earth’s surface that enables miners to enter through the tunnels and reach the deposited ores. Underground mining is classified into 3 types which are a) method of access, b) type of extraction and c) particular method used to extract the ores like slope and shaft mining, long wall, room or pillar mining and bore hole, drift and fill mining methods.
Fact 3 How Is Mining Done
Mining is not an easy task and so heavy machinery is used at every step of mining starting from exploring the site, developing, removing and stockpiling, breaking, drilling and finally removing the ores and rocks that have various densities and hardness. Machinery is also used in carrying the materials and processing them and then carrying then transporting from the sites to the ports and other places for export.
Machineries that are used to carry out these different kinds of work are namely large drills, trains, trams, lifts, huge trucks, cranes and shovels, large crushers, reactors, mills, roasters, etc.
Fact 4 Why Is Mining Important
Mining is an important industry that has sustained human life on earth economically. The major minerals that are mined are the main sources of energy like coal and petroleum and other materials like steel and fertilizers. The ores mined from the quarries are worked upon to supply adequate amount of minerals as well as other materials for defense needs and economic growth of the nations that are environmentally acceptable and within the desired costs.
Fact 5 Effects Of Mining
Mining means using of all kinds of resources available under the earth’s surface. These minerals are not inexhaustible and are non-renewable. Hence there are sure to be certain disadvantages of mining that cannot be easily sorted out. The main effects of mining are:
- Deforestation or clearing of forest areas and land surfaces for digging tunnels destroys habitats of wildlife and also important edible plant life. Less of trees mean less of fresh air and oxygen. The natural balance in nature is disturbed. The soil becomes loose leading to natural calamities like earthquakes and even droughts.
- Water pollution is one of the most serious problems of mining. Metal contamination, acid mine drainage and sediment levels of streams and nearby water bodies increase affecting fisheries, domestic water supply, swimming, irrigation and other uses of water.
- Air pollution is another problem caused by mining. Particulate matter mixes with the air when soil or vegetation is removed and the soil is exposed to the weather of that region thus polluting the air.
Minerals available under the earth are non-renewable and hence the mines also have a specific lifetime. Closure of mines also sometimes pose problems like huge pits that are not sufficiently filled often cause accidents especially when they are filled up with water during the rains.