What Do You Mean By Mining Industry?
What do you mean by the mining industry? By that, I mean any activity that generates money by the use of mineral extraction. Some of the industries that derive their income from the mining of minerals are gold mining, silver mining, petroleum exploration, coal mining, nuclear energy production, radioactive processing, etc. The boundaries of this industry are often vague.
In simple terms, it is the quality of the minerals extracted per unit of energy or weight of the load. This quality is measured in terms of the average recovery ratio (breakup to revenue) of different minerals over time. Breakup is usually measured in percent. For instance, a lump of mineral-like coal that has an average recovery ratio of fifty percent, might not be as valuable as a different type of coal with an average recovery ratio of seventy percent.
What about minerals like iron ore? It is difficult to extract iron ore from the ground because of the very high cost of labor involved in processing the ore. The price of this resource is determined by the demand for it. Demand is typically governed by economic factors such as the level of employment and the level of investment needed to produce what is needed. This means that mining ores would have to be done frequently to keep the price at which it is currently.
So, what is happening in this industry? There are two main ways that mines extract precious minerals. The first is by a mechanical process, such as sand and gravel mining. The second is by a chemical process, such as sulfide extraction.
A typical sand or gravel mine will consist of a shaft that is due to the depth necessary to reach the deposit where the ore is found. As the shaft is descended into the deposit, there is the possibility of encountering other mineral-rich layers. If these layers can be separated from the ore, then additional extraction may be possible. During the process of mining ore, what is likely to happen is that a large amount of air would be lost in the mining process. This is called ‘air compression’ and can result in serious pollution problems, so special procedures have been put into place to maintain safe working conditions.
What do you mean by a ‘viable’ mine? A mine must be both economically viable and profitable. Obviously, if a mine is found to be both profitable and feasible, then it will almost certainly be open to further exploitation. However, if it is found to be neither economically viable nor profitable, then that mine is said to be closed. When a mine is finally closed, it is said to ‘disappear’, meaning that there will not be any more attempts to mine the area.
A further distinction between different types of mining operations is often made between ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ extraction. Although many people think that light extraction means actually extracting the minerals through the use of water or other forms of electricity, this is not always the case. There are in fact two main types of mining: ‘light’ and ‘heavy’.
A mine that produces iron ore is likely to be classified as a light mining industry. Iron ore can be extracted using open-pit or underground mining methods. This type of mine is said to represent the traditional mining method in which most of the minerals were produced by surface mining methods. The second type of mine that is generally considered to be part of the mining industry, is the heavy-ore mining industry. This involves the excavation and extraction of very large quantities of ores, rock salt, and other minerals like gold or silver.