The history of mining—and the benefits that come from it—is as long and varied as human history itself. The extraction of valuable metals, minerals, coal, oil, precious gems, and more has been performed by people since prehistoric times, and has led to more advances than can possibly be named. Modern mining is technologically advanced and crucial to our existence.
While the processes and techniques are highly varied, they can be broken down into surface mining—extracting near the surface of the Earth—and underground mining, which accesses materials buried deep within the ground.
Once minerals are extracted, oftentimes they are processed. Extractive metallurgy studies the extraction of metals and minerals, and mineral processing is a specialized area of metallurgy which focuses on the mechanical means of actually crushing, grinding, and washing, and eventually separating the minerals and metals. Depending on the actual material being mined, different methods of processing are employed, including gravity-dependent separation, crushing and pulverizing, and other mechanical and chemical techniques that result in mineral recovery.
Mining provides countless benefits. From a very basic standpoint, it results in the obtainment of oil and natural gas, valuable minerals such as gold, silver, and copper, and so much more. Our uses of and dependence on these materials are widespread and infinite. The economic benefits are also highly significant: mining elevates small and large communities, makes people and places self-sufficient, provides incomes and jobs for millions around the world, and economically empowers people. In fact, the US economy and countless industries are currently benefiting from a shale gas “revolution” that is aiding in transportation, manufacturing, exportation, and energy independence.
It can be said that mining is one of the most important industries in the world, and here at Miner Elastomer Products we could not agree more. We pride ourselves on developing new products for the mining industry that help reduce cost, improve productivity and are environmentally safe.