Mining Metals & Ores Sector India
Mining Metals and Ores Training | Metals and Mining Industry| Metals & Mining Industry In India | Mining Ores Metals Surface Mining | Underground Mining Machines Safety Training
WHAT IS MINING?
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or geological materials from the earth usually from an orebody, vein, lode, reef, lean or placer deposits. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of valuable economic interest to the miner.
Ores recovered by mining include coal, metals, gemstones, oil shale, limestone, rock salt, dimension stone, chalk, potash, gravel, and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes or created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of non-renewable resources such as petrol, natural gas, or even water.
Mining of metal and stones has been a human activity since pre-historic times. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, and final reclamation of the land after the mine is closed.
Mining operations usually create a negative impact on the environment, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed. Therefore, most of the world's nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has also been a long concern as well, and modern practices have significantly improved safety in mines.
STAGE 1: MINE EXPLORATION – 7-10 years
Probing for minerals (exploration) is the first step in the mining cycle. In the beginning stage of exploration, large areas of land are evaluated by airborne surveys or geological surveys of the Earth’s surface. After review of the data found, specific areas are targeted for more in-depth studies of the ground. Involved studies maybe land clearing and mineral sampling by prospectors and geologists. If valuable mineral possibilities are anticipated a ‘claim’ is staked, which is often then sold to a larger mining company for further evaluation and exploration.
The next stage of exploration is a thorough analysis of a specific area. This regularly involves detailed mineral sampling, detailed ground, and geological surveys, mapping to establish the size and shape of the mineral deposit, diamond drilling (often at great depths) for more samples, and environmental studies. Field camps can be set up at whichever stage of exploration, but are likely to develop into larger and involve more people and equipment as exploration develops.
STAGE 2: MINE DEVELOPMENT – 5-10 years
Mine growth starts with advanced exploration and the evaluation, by geologists, mining engineers, and metallurgists, of the mine’s potential. This stage involves very detailed drilling and the subtraction of large samples. This phase usually requires the use of heavy equipment and the construction of access roads. Processing tests are done to assess mineral quality and quantity. Financial and minerals market studies are carried out to conclude the mine’s economic potential. Environmental assessments are undertaken and ‘pre-feasibility’ studies completed. The final step in the Evaluation phase is a decision on whether or not a mining company will go ahead with full-scale mine development.
If they choose to proceed, mine planning will then begin. In order to go ahead, a mining company must ensure enough resources are available to develop the mine. Securing satisfactory capital is vital to mine development is a very expensive proposal. At this time, the necessary permits and agreements with governments are negotiated as well as sales deals with potential clients. The mine and associated buildings are designed and further resolvability studies are done. Mine closure and reclamation plans are prepared.
STAGE 3: MINE OPERATION – 2-20 years
Mine operation is the third phase of the Mine Cycle and involves the enrollment, hiring, and training of a wide range of personnel. Marketing and sales activities are assumed and include client establishment and servicing. At the mine itself, production involves the extraction of ore, separation of minerals, and removal of waste and shipment of ore/minerals. If a mine is to expand during its lifetime, more sampling, drilling, planning, and mapping is are required.
STAGE 4: MINE CLOSURE – 2-10 years
And finally, the closure of a mine is a multi-stage process.
First, the shut-down & decommissioning which involves:
the removal of equipment,
The dismantling of facilities,
and the safe closure of all mine workings.
Then the reclamation involving earthwork and site restoration; including re-vegetation of waste rock disposal areas.
The final stage of mine closure is monitoring, which includes environmental testing and structural monitoring.
Mining techniques are divided into two common excavation types: surface mining and sub-surface (underground) mining.
Surface mining is done by removing surface vegetation, dirt, and, if necessary, layers of bedrock in order to reach buried ore deposits. Techniques of surface mining include: open-pit mining, which is the recovery of materials from an open pit in the ground, identical to open-pit mining except that it refers to sand, stone, and clay strip mining, which consists of stripping surface layers off to reveal ore/seams underneath and mountaintop removal, commonly associated with coal mining, which involves taking the top of a mountain off to reach ore deposits at depth. Most placer deposits, because of their shallowly buried nature, are mined by surface methods. Finally, landfill mining involves sites where landfills are excavated and processed.
Sub-surface mining consists of digging tunnels or shafts into the earth to reach buried ore deposits. Ore, for processing, and waste rock, for disposal, are brought to the surface through the tunnels and shafts. Sub-surface mining can be classified by the type of access shafts used, the extraction method or the technique used to reach the mineral deposit. Drift mining utilizes horizontal access tunnels, slope mining uses diagonally sloping access shafts, and shaft mining utilize vertical access shafts. Mining in hard and soft rock formations require different techniques.
Other methods include shrinkage stope mining, which is mining upward and creating a sloping underground room, longwall mining, which is grinding along ore surface underground, and room and pillar mining, which is removing ore from rooms while leaving pillars in place to support the roof of the room. Room and pillar mining often leads to retreat mining, in which supporting pillars are removed as miners retreat, allowing the room to cave in, thereby loosening more ore. Additional sub-surface mining methods include hard rock mining, which is mining of hard rock materials, borehole mining, drift and fill mining, long hole slope mining, sublevel caving, and block caving.
Highwall mining is another form of surface mining that evolved from auger mining. In Highwall mining, the coal seam is penetrated by a continuous miner propelled by a hydraulic Pushbeam Transfer Mechanism (PTM). A typical cycle includes sumping and shearing. As the coal recovery cycle continues, the cutter head is progressively launched into the coal seam for 19.72 feet (6.01 m). Then, the Pushbeam Transfer Mechanism (PTM) automatically inserts a 19.72-foot (6.01 m) long rectangular Pushbeam into the center section of the machine between the Powerhead and the cutter head. The Pushbeam system can penetrate nearly 1,000 feet into the coal seam. One patented Highwall mining system uses augers enclosed inside the Pushbeam that prevent the mined coal from being contaminated by rock debris during the conveyance process. Using a video imaging and/or a gamma ray sensor and/or other Geo-Radar systems like a coal-rock interface detection sensor (CID), the operator can see ahead projection of the seam-rock interface and guide the continuous miner's progress. Highwall mining can produce thousands of tons of coal in contour-strip operations with narrow benches, previously mined areas, trench mine applications and steep-dip seams with controlled water-inflow pump system and/or a gas venting system.
Heavy machinery is used in mining to explore and develop sites, to remove and stockpile overburden, to break and remove rocks of various hardness and toughness, to process the ore, and to carry out reclamation projects after the mine is closed. Bulldozers, drills, explosives, and trucks are all necessary for excavating the land. In the case of placer mining, unconsolidated gravel, or alluvium, is fed into machinery consisting of a hopper and a shaking screen or trommel which frees the desired minerals from the waste gravel. The minerals are then concentrated using sluices or jigs.
Large drills are used to sink shafts, excavate stopes, and obtain samples for analysis. Trams are used to transport miners, minerals, and waste. Lifts carry miners into and out of mines and move rock and ore out, and machinery in and out, of underground mines. Huge trucks, shovels, and cranes are employed in surface mining to move large quantities of overburden and ore. Processing plants utilize large crushers, mills, reactors, roasters and other equipment to consolidate the mineral-rich material and extract the desired compounds and metals from the ore.
Once the mineral is extracted, it is often than processed. The science of extractive metallurgy is a specialized area in the science of metallurgy that studies the extraction of valuable metals from their ores, especially through chemical or mechanical means.
Mineral processing is a specialized area in the science of metallurgy that studies the mechanical means of crushing, grinding, and washing that enable the separation of valuable metals or minerals from their gangue. Processing of placer ore material consists of gravity-dependent methods of separation, such as sluice boxes. Only minor shaking or washing may be necessary to disaggregate the sands or gravels before processing. Processing of ore from a lode mine, whether it is a surface or subsurface mine, requires that the rock or is crushed and pulverized before extraction of the valuable minerals begins. After load ore is crushed, recovery of the valuable minerals is done by one, or a combination of several, mechanical and chemical techniques.
Since most metals are present in ores as oxides or sulfides, the metal needs to be reduced to its metallic form. This can be accomplished through chemical means such as smelting or through electrolytic reduction, as in the case of aluminum. Geometallurgy combines the geologic sciences with extractive metallurgy and mining.
SAFETY IN MINING
safety has long been a concern in the mining business, especially in sub-surface mining. The Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst mining accident, involved the death of 1,099 miners in Northern France on March 10, 1906. This disaster was surpassed only by the Benxihu Colliery accident in China on April 26, 1942, which killed 1,549 miners. While mining today is substantially safer than it was in previous decades, mining accidents still occur. Government figures indicate that 5,000 Chinese miners die in accidents each year, while other reports have suggested a figure as high as 20,000. Mining accidents continue worldwide, including accidents causing dozens of fatalities at a time such as the 2007 Ulyanovskaya Mine disaster in Russia, the 2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion in China, and the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in the United States.
There are numerous occupational hazards associated with mining, including exposure to rock dust which can lead to diseases such as silicosis, asbestosis, and pneumoconiosis. Gases in the mine can lead to asphyxiation and could also be ignited. Mining equipment can generate considerable noise, putting workers at risk for hearing loss. Cave-ins, rock falls, and exposure to excess heat is also known hazards.
Proper ventilation, hearing protection, and spraying equipment with water are important safety practices in mines.
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Mining Metals and Ores Training | Metals and Mining Industry | Metals & Mining Industry In India | Mining Ores Metals Surface Mining | Underground Mining Machines Safety Training
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