December 10, 2017

How the Mining Industry Really Functions

We all know that mining happens, but most of us know nothing about the process and how the different tasks are carried out. Read on to find out more about the key areas of the mining industry and how they function on a day to day basis.

Exploration

Mining and mineral exploration is the process of finding ores (which are concentrations of minerals) to mine. There are many different types of minerals that are mined, but the most widely known is oil. There is a huge amount of field work involved in exploration. The ground and earth have to be tested in the lab before people can find out whether there are deposits to extract. Any mistakes can lead to all sorts of problems for mining companies. Drilling in the wrong place is a huge waste of time and money, and it sets the company back when trying to hit its targets.

Extraction

There are many different ways in which minerals can be extracted from the ground. Open pit mining can be used for extracting minerals near the surface of the earth. But many types of mining extract minerals from deep underground. Long tunnels can be created either vertically or horizontally in order to extract the minerals. Different types of method can then be used. Some of them involve blasting the rock to force the minerals upwards. And other methods include pumping water into the ground to cause gases to bubble up to the surface. Longwall mining sheers coal away from the wall and is brought to the surface on a conveyor belt. Visit the Direct Mining website to find out more about extraction.

Mining_near_the_city_of_Tomsk_in_Russia

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Safety

There’s no doubt about it; mining is a very dangerous industry. There are lots of things that can go wrong, and that leads to people getting hurt. Of course, these issues can be handled by having the correct safety measures in place and using new technologies. Dust and gas sensors are improving all the time, and this helps mine workers to respond quickly and get to safety. Intelligence injury response systems are also now being used to help people who get hurt in hard to get to places. This helps people get some basic treatment before a professional team of medical experts can reach them. The use of personal protective equipment is also very important, even if it seems like a small thing.

Sales

Mining companies have to make money. And they obviously do that by selling what they extract from the ground. There are lots of overheads to cover in the mining industry. Using the equipment that’s necessary and hiring the required staff are both expensive factors. There are also permits and safety measure that cost money to implement. That’s why the profit margins in the mining industry are not always as high as many people tend to assume. Who the minerals and materials are sold to depends on what kind of mining a company deal with. Recent drops in oil prices have shown how volatile the market can be for mining companies.

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