When we think about precious metals like gold, silver, and coal, we often forget to consider the underground mining process to access them. We often think of the mining as dirt-covered miners and dark underground tunnels. But there is more to it than these.
Even though underground mining is habitually overlooked, its products are around us every single day—everything from the cutlery that we eat to the jewellery that we wear to the salt we ingest. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the average person consumes 664 tons of minerals per year. Such minerals include iron, lead, stone, aluminium, zinc, clay, silt, iron gravel, sand, and cement.
We are dependent on mining, even though we might not be aware of it or acknowledge it. You probably don’t know many things about mining. This article will share interesting facts about mining.
Underground Mining Technology Is Constantly Evolving
In the early days of coal mining, miners carried only shovels and canaries to warn them. To ensure safety and simplify operations, underground mining technology solutions exist today to improve productivity in underground mines.
Mining companies are using innovative methods such as Ne and advanced mining technology from consultants such as Newtrax to increase their profitability. However, the most important thing to remember is that underground mining, particularly for underground miners, becomes safer and more stress-free the more underground mining technology solutions are developed.
As I have mentioned, underground mining has more risks and costs than surface mining. Underground mining can still be a profitable investment option. Underground mining, if managed well, can be a worthwhile investment that can bring in a lot of cash.
Underground Mines Can Reach Extremely Deep Depths
Underground mines can reach very deep depths, unlike surface mines which can only go 200 feet below the Earth’s surface. Underground coal mines can reach depths up to 2,500 feet, while underground uranium mines may reach as far as 6,500 feet.
Underground Mines Come in Two Types
Yes, you did read it right. This is probably the most surprising thing for those who don’t know much about mining. Underground mines can be divided into two categories:
- Hard rock underground mines
- Soft rock underground mines
You might be wondering what the differences are between these two types of underground mines.
Hard rock underground mines can extract hard minerals such as lead, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, and silver. The types of deposits found in hard rock underground mines will often dictate the extraction method used. There is no single method that works in all cases for excavating hard rock mines.
Soft rock underground mines, on the other hand, are underground mines that extract minerals like oil shale and coal, as well as other soft rocks. The mining methods used to extract minerals from soft-rock underground miners differ, just as in hard rock underground mines.
Underground Mines Can Be an Excellent Investment
Underground mining can be a profitable investment despite the risks and costs. Underground mining can be very profitable if it is managed well and utilizes the appropriate technologies, tools, and safety measures.
Copper and Gold Were the First Metals Discovered
Humans were the first to discover copper and gold. Studies show that copper was being mined back in 9000 BC. Evidence from archaeology also suggests that humans had the technology to make jewellery out of gold around 4000 BC. Copper was used instead to make weapons and tools, while gold was mainly used ornamentally.
Although it is not clear when copper smelting first became popular, archaeological evidence suggests that copper smelting may have been discovered in Central America between 600 and 2800 AD. It was also discovered in China between 2700 and 2800 AD. Some parts of West Africa were found around the 10th Century AD.
Still, There Are Disadvantages
Underground mining has its advantages, but there are also disadvantages. Even with all the safety precautions, accidents can happen in underground mining. The risk of an accident is high in underground mining, such as a mine falling apart, an earthquake, or extreme flooding. Miners may also experience health problems from prolonged exposure to hazardous dust and other airborne particles. These health issues can lead to lung diseases such as black lung and pneumoconiosis.