Underground mining is a specific type of mining and is executed when miners are trying to get minerals that are too far underground to be extracted with regular surface mining procedures. As you can imagine, there is a lot of underground mining technology used to get to these minerals, but it also requires miners who are experienced enough to know just what to do in these circumstances. Below are some interesting facts about underground mining you likely didn’t know.
- No Two Mines Are Alike
Before miners go into a mine, they have to consider the type of ore underneath the ground, the shape of the ore, and even the composition of any rock surrounding the minerals they’re trying to extract. They even have to think about the cost of the expedition and whether or not it is worth it in the end. This being said, underground mines also have a lot in common, including the ventilation necessary to clear toxic gas and even the communication systems used in the expedition.
- The Technology Used Is More Advanced as Ever
Today’s underground mining technology includes super-advanced equipment such as blasting machines, excavator machines, drilling machines, and crushing machines. Every one of these items is now sophisticated and some are even computerized for better accuracy. Not only does this type of technology enable mining operations to run a lot more efficiently, but it has also greatly reduced the number of mining accidents that occur every year.
- There Are Different Types of Underground Mining
There are also many different types of underground mining. These include longwall mining, which is typically associated with coal; cut and fill mining, used when deposits are narrow and tall instead of wide and flat; room and pillar mining, a situation where the ore itself forms the support structure for the mine; and blast mining, in which the ore is blasted out of the veins one section at a time. The equipment used will always vary depending on the type of mine being used.
- Mining Is More Important Than You Think
At this point, people might think that mining is a bit old-fashioned and is used less frequently than in the past, but that is not the case. Underground mining isn’t just utilized to extract gemstones for all sorts of luxury products. It is also needed to get iron for construction purposes, rare earth metals for electronics and many consumer goods, and even uranium for electricity. This is why the mining industry is just as important today as it was decades ago.
- Mining Can Still Be Dangerous
Despite high-tech underground mining technology and equipment, mining is still a dangerous endeavour. While it is safer than it was in the past, there are still things that can happen that are disastrous to miners. Accidents happen and sometimes, miners are even killed. Nevertheless, the job of underground mining is becoming safer all the time, thanks in part to the fact that the equipment and tools used are becoming much more advanced and sophisticated.