Mining is the key driver of the United States economy, but there are many different types of mining in the country. In 2018 alone, the U.S. mines produced about $82.2 billion of raw mineral materials from various mining methods.
What are some different types of mining?
Mining is the process of extracting valuable resources found above or below the earth’s surface. Nobody can grow or fabricate such materials through artificial means. Thankfully, there are many mining methods to help people extract them.
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Here are the different types of mining for resources like minerals, water, and fossil fuels.
- Strip Mining
- Open Pit Mining
- Mountaintop Removal
- Highwall Mining
1) Strip Mining
Strip mining is the stripping of the surface layer away from the minerals being excavated, mainly coal. Giant machines and excavators remove the soil, rocks, and vegetation present on the mineral seam. Notably, this type of mining is ideal for minerals close to the surface.
2) Open Pit Mining
Open-pit mining works like strip mining. However, the minerals get removed from an open pit that’s left unfilled. Most people refer to open-pit mines as quarries when the mines produce building materials like marble, granite, and limestone.
3) Mountaintop Removal
This is the most controversial type of mining as it involves removing mass amounts of minerals from mountain peaks. It involves using explosives to blast the overburden above the mineral seam to be mined then shift the broken mountaintops into valleys.
If you’ve seen miners panning for gold, you can quickly understand dredging, which is a more advanced version of gold panning. Floating dredges move on the water as their scoops lift materials on the conveyor belt then separates minerals from other materials.
5) Highwall Mining
During highwall mining, heavy machinery collects ore from highwall (unmined walls with exposed minerals and overburden). Highwalls are available at the edges of pit mines and quarries. The walls allow miners to retrieve ore without removing the overburden.
Sapphire Gas in Mining
Since there are different types of mining, miners usually invest in methods that can fulfill their specific needs, including low production costs. Another way to lower production costs is by using affordable fuel solutions. That’s where Sapphire Gas comes in to help.
Contact us to learn all the applications of natural gas in the mining industry.