What is the Mining Industry?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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The mining industry is involved with extracting coal, minerals, and precious metals from the earth. Before a mine is created, explorers may try to determine how much of a particular item is located in the area, which is known as prospecting. They may then determine whether to extract material from the surface, underground, or abandon their efforts because it may be unprofitable to continue. Developers can then plan how to create the mine and oversee workers at the facility when it is completed.

Prospectors often visit locations where valuable minerals are thought to be located. They do this in order to make an assessment as to how much of an item the area contains. People who work in this segment of the mining industry may use special equipment to extract a sample from the ground. In some instances, this effort is conducted by hand using a shovel or pick.

Other members of the mining industry take information from prospectors and analyze the data. That way, they can determine if it would be a profitable venture to create a new mine. They can also try to decide the best mining method, as well as estimate how much the material might be worth once it is extracted.


Planners are also involved in creating new mines. This can involve building the mines and developing ways to transport the material once it is extracted. These members of the mining industry might also plan safe ways for workers to accomplish tasks associated with mining once the mine is operational.

A great number of people involved in the mining industry are the miners themselves. These individuals may work underground digging or picking at the earth in order to remove precious materials. This is often a dangerous occupation because tunnels can cave in, causing injury or death. In some areas, miners may belong to a union that oversees their working conditions in order to help keep them safe for this reason.

Other people in the mining industry transport coal or minerals from the mine to another location to be treated and refined. This is done by railroad cars in many locations. Engineers might be responsible for loading material onto the car and then delivering it to its final destination. Workers might also be needed to unload products and place them in large bins or on the back of other vehicles once they have delivered them to the refinery.


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