A Simple And Easy Guide To Mining
The crust, or outer layer of the earth contains lots of precious and useful minerals. Mining is a process that we use to extract those minerals from the crust of the earth. Not every mine is created equally, and the type of equipment used in every mine differs depending on its geography, rock composition and environment. This article discusses the topic of mining briefly.
The Process Of Mining
Whenever you want to start a mining or ore exploration project in an area, that area must be first cleared of its top soil that does not have anything valuable in it. This topsoil is called the overburden, and a process called stripping is used to remove this soil. The removed soil can also be used to make roads and do other things within the mine, so it’s at least useful in some way.
To break the hard rocks and expose the ore, the ground is pierced by diamond core drilling. Then, the holes are filled with explosives and the rock is blasted into pieces. After this process, the broken pieces of rock are then picked up and transported with the help of trucks to their desired location.
To reach the inner area of rock with more concentration of the needed ore, you must first remove the surrounding rock with less concentration of the needed ore. The amount of rock stripped to get a specific amount of ore is called the stripped ratio of the mine.
The Processing Plant
Once the ore is collected in the form of huge rocks, it is then transported to the processing plant with the help of trucks or a conveyer belt. The processing plants are usually located in the mine area, and are used to gather the metal in such a concentration that it might be melted to make metal ingots.
To achieve this, the ore is first crushed with the help of a crusher that crushes the collected ore into smaller pieces with the help of its mechanical force. After the crush, a mill is used to reduce the particle size even further. A mill can use the most amount of energy in a mine.
After milling, you are left with a fine powder of rocks. It is easier to separate metal from this power than it is from larger pieces. If you are separating a magnetic material, you can use magnets to start the process of separation of metal. Additionally, gravity and chemicals are also used for separation whenever needed.
The separation method used solely depends on the properties of the ore that you’re working with.
After The Processing Plant
Once all the rocks pass through the processing plant, you will have two types of products. One is the useful concentrate containing the metal of your need, and the other one is the useless tailing that contains unwanted metals and other substances. Usually, the tailings contain harmful substances, and they must be disposed of properly. A tailings storage facility is used for this purpose.