3 Types Of Mining: What’s The Difference?

Mining is a process of extracting earth’s given resources to humankind, such as minerals like cobalt, copper, gold, etc. Mining is also done to extract ores such as coal, limestone, rock salt, gravel, and metals. Generally, it is the process of getting substances from bodies of land or water that are not possible for factories to make in their laboratories, or in short, these substances extracted are non-renewable resources.

All of these resources are all extracted through mining but do take in mind that there are different types and processes that every single resource undergoes to be drawn out from the bodies of land or water.

Here is a list of 3 types of mining, how it is done, what kind of material it extracts, and how they differ from each other.

Open Pit Mining

First on our list is Open pit mining, and from the name itself, a large hole is openly dug up that can be deep for about a 1000 meters. It usually extracts ores and minerals that are near to the surface, so open pit miners do not suggest tunnelling. You can extract metal ores such as gold, silver, copper, etc. in open-pit mining, and other resources such as gravel, stone and clay.

Removal of waste rock in open-pit mining is required before you’re able to extract ores. Every time it gets deeper, the more waste rock there is, so this kind of mining average to a 1000 meters deep only.  But this type of mining surely gives high production rates which are a benefit to mining companies.

Good Read: The World’s 20 Largest Copper Mines

Underground Mining

If open pit mining is for extraction of ores and minerals that are near the surface, underground mining is for the resources that its location is much broader. It requires the use of long shafts and tunnels to reach deeper into the earth’s resources. Mining companies that use this method spend a significant amount of investment because it requires a series of planning with a geologist, engineers, and other personnel to determine the right approach to use and how the tunnels and shaft must be placed in sequence. Mining jobs Perth, in this sector must have high salaries because it takes a lot of expertise and skills in this field.

Unlike open pit mining, underground mining has a less negative impact on the environment because there is no open excavation and less waste rock.

Seabed or Deep Sea Mining

In bodies of water, such as in the middle of the sea or ocean, you can see Seabed mining. It is the process of extracting minerals that are in the surface below the sea. Nickel, copper, cobalt, or even gold and silver can be mined in deep sea mining. To be able to extract ores, seabed mining companies put a series of pipes that has a hydraulic suction system on the surface of the ocean. A tube is lowered into the sea surface where they absorb a mixture of material, and then the waste and the mineral or ore is separated on the ship, and another pipe is responsible for returning the waste into the seabed.

These three different types of mining can vary depending on what is the process that undertakes, but all of them are done to do the same, to extract the earth’s non-renewable resources.

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