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Benefits of Innovation In Mining

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The mining industry is interesting to me now because I know something most people don’t.

Most people don’t think all too often about searching for gold.

Hmmm..Probably because they are focusing on other things!

It’s okay because I never thought about it much either…

Not until… I moved to a small town!  

YouTube. “Dustin Lynch – Small Town Boy (Official Audio).” YouTube. 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 19 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSDxUVZJwTg>
 Have you ever wondered what other kinds of jobs are out there? I mean, what do other people do for work? The reason I am asking this is that there are a ton of jobs out there most people are not talking about, and the reason they are not talking about their line of work is that you and I are not asking the right kinds of questions.
A wise man once told me this, It’s:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. – The Gospel According to St. Mathew

So many times we are searching for something, whether it be gold, faith, meaning, money, or anything else; and we fail to recognize everything we could ever want is right here inside of us all along. The answer is gratitude!
Anyways, there are a lot of jobs out there if we look in the right places. It is so easy to overlook small towns because the distance from one end of the town to the other is the size of a large city boy or girls backyard. However, I want to remind you of where it all began. It all begins in a small town.

..HERE’S THE JUICY INFORMATION!

Volvo self-driving trucks

It’s simple, the mining industry is using fascinating forms of technology as a means to get the job done. Specifically, BIG MINING TRUCKS are bought and sold every day.
These mining trucks are driving themselves; and, they are seen as a safe, reliable, and cost-effective way of mining for minerals. Now, the day has come where humans are standing back and letting the machines take control.
Even further, the use of ROBOTIC DRILLS to powerfully impact the piles of earth crust allow miners to stand clear of rubble and hazardous material. Again, the day has come where humans are letting the machines take over.

The below video is a video from Volvo demonstrating the self-driving vehicle used in underground mining operations:


YouTube. “The world’s first self-driving truck in an underground mine.” YouTube. 7 Sept. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwhyoUyJNoY>

Autonomous mining equipment

ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY costs are coming down which makes mining underground more attractive because now miners can use the technology to save on employee costs.

“Mining companies are rolling out autonomous trucks, drills, and trains, which will boost efficiency but also reduce the need for human employees.”  

The autonomous vehicles are able to get around with GPS and various lasers directing the vehicles to stop and go; while maintaining a safe driving distance. Robotics reduce labor costs by 15% in some companies. Essentially, software in the autonomous vehicles does not need to stop for restroom breaks or shift changes. The autonomous vehicles are even proving to be safer than humans.
Notable, most mining works fear they are going to lose their jobs due to robotic technology; however, I think new jobs are going to be created which STILL require human assistance to monitor the systems driving robots.
Simonite, Tom. “This truck is the size of a house and doesn’t have a driver.” MIT Technology Review. 28 Dec. 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603170/mining-24-hours-a-day-with-robots/>

SpaceX Mars Mission


The mining industry is changing fast because of robots and technology. So, my interests are in space technology, and recently I read a blog post on Elon Musk and it went like this…
Elon is talking about having miner/tunneling droids on the planet Mars to further our exploration and standard of living. Here’s what he presumably says about the Droid functionality and purpose.

“The robots would build large volumes of underground pressurized space for industrial activity, leaving geodesic domes (made of carbon fiber and glass) for everyday living.”

Engadget. “Elon Musk’s Mars colony would have a horde of mining robots.” Engadget. 23 Oct. 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/23/spacex-mars-colony-mining-robots/>

How does deep sea mining affect the environment?

Below is a short and popular video of underwater drones mining in the deep ocean. Now, I think it is interesting to see how far technology has come because before we could only imagine what the territory held by humans. Basically, we had to swim down to the depth of the water floor, enough to get an idea of what was down there. Today, we have cameras to do the work for us, and operators managing the whole process to ensure the safety of human life.

Phillips, Chris. “Robots to mine the ocean floor: the risks and rewards of deep-sea mining – video.” the Guardian. 28 Jun. 2017. Web. 19 Aug. 2017. <http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/video/2017/jun/28/robots-ocean-floor-deep-sea-mining-video>

Drones in Mining Industry

Companies are using drones to provides mining services! In order to survey mining pits, the Noamundi Iron Mine is now the first mine in the Indian country to use drones for its daily operational activity.

The Noamundi Iron Mine (NIM).

Skylark Drones, a Bengaluru based firm is the preferred drone company of choice used by the Noamundi Iron Mine.
“We have initiated mining surveillance system using space technology along with a mobile app. This will help in stopping illegal mining, monitoring mining plan, production, dispatch, and royalty payment. We requested Tata Steel to demonstrate it in Noamundi iron mine,” said the secretary.
Team Energyinfrapost. “Technology and usage of Drones Can Change The Way Mining Is Done in India.” EnergyInfraPost. 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://energyinfrapost.com/piyush-goyal-backs-use-of-drones-and-modern-technology-in-mining/>

Drones for mining exploration

The use of drones is important because they can speed up operations by surveying large areas of a mine. Drones are able to gather important information regarding the landscape as well as aiding business leaders in making necessary decisions.
Drones can speed up preparation of mining plans by survey large areas of land.

What areas are mining companies focusing their money spending efforts?

Interestingly enough, mining executives say they will continue to implement the use of digital technology and budgetary funds in the following areas:

  1. Mine Operations
  2. Exploration
  3. Mine Development
  4. Robotics
  5. Automation
  6. Remote Operating Centers
  7. Dones
  8. Wearable Technologies

N.a. “Mining and Metals Companies to Increase Spending on Digital Technologies to Boost Innovation, But Cost-Savings Still a Challenge, New Accenture Research Reports | Accenture Newsroom.” Newsroom.accenture.com. n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://accntu.re/2q3m951>

Mining Technologies

wrote by Larryeolliver

Mining Technologies

  1. Mining
  2. Process of mining
  3. Stages of mining
  4. Considerations to be taken into account while setting up of mine.

As we are moving ahead into the advanced
technological times the Mining has become one of the largest industry that
serves us. Major Ores & minerals which are raw materials for almost our
every product that we use in our daily lives come from mining.
The mining industry is one of the factors
having a greater impact on the global economy. Haul over times or even shutdowns
of mines have a very large impact on raw material demand supply ratios
affecting the commodity prices time to time all over the world.

While setting up a mine we need to
get acquainted first thoroughly about bellow: 

  • What is mining?
  • General Basics & process of mining
  • Mining techniques
  • Life Cycle of a Mine
  • Environmental effects of mining
  • Considerations while setting up of a mine.

Moving ahead let us see what is mining?

Mining is nothing but extraction of natural non-renewable sources of energy. It can also simply mean the extracting of the valuable material from earth, valuable material because it cannot be grown with farming or cannot be manufactured in factories.
Mining has been there with human race since very beginning of the time. It has evolved to be one of the greatest industries known by the mankind today. All major natural non-renewable sources of energy like coal, natural Gas, potash, gemstones, metals, limestone, etc. are excavated from earth’s appetite to fuel the various businesses running today.
Mining requires a large capital investment, not only just to develop & start off but to sustain and expand the ongoing production. With the survey done by The Fraser Institute in 2016 around the world including almost 2700 companies who participated in survey,
denotes that combined, these participant companies spend a handsome sum of US $2.7 Billion on mining.
In the mining industry the Commencement of production of newly set up mine & the costs is purely based on the judgment of the company. In 2016 KPMG produced a survey named, “KPMG Mining Reporting Survey 2016” where it has listed the factors disclosed by the surveyed companies which impact the judgments of commencing the production of a mine. The factors are as bellow:

The factors are as below:

√ Ability to sustain ongoing production.
√ Transfer of operation from development personnel to operational personnel.
√ Consideration of specific factors such as recoveries, inventory build-up.
√ The operating effectiveness of the sites refinery.
√ Weather the necessary permits are in place to allow continuous production.
√ Weather there is sustainable production inputs are available.

Mining being related to the excavation from earth’s crust naturally adversely affects the environment we live in. There are several professional surveys & studies available for our
understanding & knowledge about the environmental impact mining. Mining affects
earth in ways of erosion, loss of biodiversity in the nearby area, contamination of surrounding air, soil & surface water, formation of sinkholes. Surface mining in hilly areas often creates a threat of landslides in the rainy season.
Environment is not only affected by mining process but by the byproducts of the mining process too. The waste which excavated is to be discarded by the proper procedures otherwise pose a threat to the nearby forest & human establishments. That’s why a mining company must obtain a more than dozen licenses & should always comply with
respective laws of mining in their respective countries.
Now acquainted with what mining is let us also understand what the basic mining process is:
Mining is basically categorized into two base types, first is surface mining & the other one is underground mining. But today as per the Wikipedia‚ industry survey suggests 85% of the minerals are produced by surface mining. The underground mining is required for extraction petroleum products & Natural Gas.
The third category of mining is very rare &known as In-situ leaching; this is a very special category & involves the extraction of to be extracted mineral to dissolve in water or acid.
Minerals like uranium oxide, potassium chloride, potash, sodium sulfate are soluble in water or acids & then excavated from earth.
The mineral deposits also are of two types, placer deposits that are found in beach sands & river gravels and the other type is load deposits that are present in veins, layers in grains distributed in mass of the rocks.

With different mining types there are basically three mining techniques listed as below:

Surface mining: As the word suggests it is a mining technique performed
by removing the surface vegetation or even the layers of bed rock. The sites we see sometimes where the land high up looks like ripped off of its parts are the sightings of such surface mine.
Types of surface mining involve the most common type open-pit mining- extracting materials from open-pits in the ground, quarrying, similar to open pit but is done stone, clay or sand, strip mining, involves stripping off layers from surface to reveal the minerals
beneath the surface, mountain top removal, majorly used in coal mines.
Underground mining: Underground mining means sub-surface mining is used for mining ores from deep beneath the earth surface. The waste rock along the ore excavated is brought back to surface with the help of shafts & tunnels.This underground mining again can be classified into sub types based on the design of the access shafts used in the mining process, Shaft mining, where the shaft drills vertical or perpendicular to the ground, slope mining, shaft drilling at a certain angle with the ground & drift mining, shaft drilling horizontally in the ground. Generally the underground mining uses large shafts to drill thru the hard rocks & is considered risky of the all three techniques of the mining.
High wall Mining: High wall mining is done basically for coal mining, the coal deposits are penetrated by continuous miner by push beam transfer mechanism (PTM) & then it shears the prescribed penetrated length by vibrations & pull the cut back. The PTM
system continuous miner can penetrate up to 1000 feet into the coal seam.
So with above different techniques, the mining can be done.

The mining process follows certain sequential steps

  1. Mining: The mining field is first analyzed with samples taken from the mining field & the area of ore deposits & waste rocks are marked. The waste rock marked areas are to be excavated first & sometimes the rock is loose with help of blasts & then dug out with hydraulic diggers. With this, the ore deposits can be accessed easily
  2. Crushing: Crushers located the open-pit mine site receive the waste rock & the ore excavated for crushing. The crusher then crushes these large sized rocks into small sizes which are then suitably can be moved on the conveyor belts.
  3. Transport: The conveyors then transfer this waste rock & ore in the area where it can be bifurcated. With the use of large magnets, the metal deposits are taken away from the debris.
  4. Grinding & Sizing: The fine ore deposits are then transferred into a closed environment where it is processed with fine techniques to grind & size the particles & store in the suitable form.
  5. Processing: This stored fine particle is the reacted with different suitable acids & solvents to get the pure mineral & ores from the deposits. The waste then is stocked in the wastage collection area.
  6. Waste disposals: The waste rock from process then will be transported thru to various places where it can be used as the input for majorly construction projects.

Now let us take a look at the stages of mining, basically, it is known as the “life cycle” of a mine.

There are basically 5 stages in a life of mine:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Exploration
  3. Development
  4. Exploitation 
  5. Reclamation

1) Prospecting:

It is the first stage in the search of Ore, where maps literature of an area is studied, with basically 2 methods direct & indirect.
Direct :

  • It is limited to deposits on surface or near the surface
  • Majorly consists of visual examination
  • These samples are studied in lab with microscopic examination.

Indirect:

  • These are for deep underground ore deposits.
  • Include methods like seismic study, radio metric study

2) Exploration:

  • core samples are obtained by diamond drills; this determines the quality & abundance of the deposits. 

Finally, the reserve estimation is done which is the final conclusion drawn on the basis of the worth of the deposits. This feasibility study will determine the actions to be taken to decide whether to abandon or develop the deposits.

3) Development:

Basically, it is the process where mineral deposits are opened for exploitation. In this stage, the miner will have to acquire the proper mining rights. Access roads to the sites are to be constructed. Powers source required is acquired. Ore handling & treatment plant is constructed.
Basically, it is the process where mineral deposits are opened for exploitation. In this stage, the miner will have to acquire the proper mining rights. Access roads to the sites are to be constructed. Powers source required is acquired. Ore handling & treatment plant is constructed.
I the development phase you can decide the type of mining you want to use like surface mining or underground mining.

4) Exploitation:

It literally means exploiting the mineral or ores sitting beneath the earth & getting them out in open. While the development phase being the continuous phase throughout the life of mine, the exploitation is the production phase.
It literally means exploiting the mineral or ores sitting beneath the earth & getting them out in open. While the development phase being the continuous phase throughout the life of mine, the exploitation is the production phase.
While production is to be done the mining method selection is the main activity here which will be based on your economics or say comparing the cost of different excavation methods, the technology available, size & shape & depth of ore. The strength of ore & layers of waste rock is also taken into consideration. The environmental factors also come into play and can add various costs to get the right safe environment for production.
With all technological consideration in place & environmental factors considered the work force is also to be selected & employed to get the production ramped up!

5) Reclamation:

Reclamation is the last stage in the life of a mine. It is the phase when a mine’s production is stopped due to unavailability of the deposits. The mine is to be closed.
But before leaving the mine it is to be ensured that hazardous waste or the hazardous environment is to be turned in to green vegetation land again.
With all of this inculcated & thorough reading on the subject, let us see what you must consider if you are planning to open a mine.
Well if you are onto this stage & reading this article section of what to consider while starting a mine, it is definitely considered that you must have gone thru the tons of books
& market research of what to mine & where to deal that. But the points we listed below help you understand & clear the stir of requirements:

What to produce?

  • Finalize the metal or mineral you want to produce, sometimes we decide it based on our knowledge of the nearby area but prove to be wrong in business because of the other economic force.
  • Look at the rewarding potential in your decision. Considering the economic forces the production costs & selling market you will have to decide that is it really going to profit you!
  • Is the production process well know in the market & easy to produce or will it require a research & special engineers to work on it. As at the end of the day you will have to calculate the investment against the returns ratio.

Do I have a target Area?

  • The general concentration of the area is known but some the minerals or ores are concentrated in specific parts of the world. And we can definitely see the economy of that specific area is totally dependent on the same. Just like gulf is having the oil reserve.  
  • Is there any current production in the area, so you also get a check on the mining consumption from the deposits and the competition check so you can advance & do better than the competitor? 

Is this the good spot in the area?

  • You might have selected a great area with concentrated reserves but are they really that great in the area where you will be mining.
  • Are you having the good access to the area where you are going to mine because the place to reach to the ore does matter, if it happens that you choose an area where you have to invest more than 50% on removing the waste then you might run into trouble!
  • With the exploration tests & lab reports, you can guarantee the quality of the metal you are going to excavate, if not it‚ land you into trouble because of mining a low-quality metal at higher costs!

Plant Resources & requirements:

  • After you have done the research & decided the area where you want to mine. The access area to mining & all the approvals have been sought out.
  • The major establishment is your plant. The machinery you require will be defined by the type mining you are going to do in the area.
  • You will have to get the required work force in that area & might have to educate them to use to your benefits.
  • With the plant set up, there will be again lots of approvals & time required to get it established.

Water resources:  

  • Listing it separately from plant resource planning has the big meaning to it.
  • Water is your first necessity as it is required in construction, for cleaning of excavated material, for running the plant & even necessary for the each and every human task force working.

Last but not the least…

Waste disposals:

  • One of the biggest hurdles is disposal system of waste. As it requires a separate transportation system.
  • In mining, the waste is heavy & is to be dealt very carefully as it comes out in large quantities.
  • There are several different obligations to the waste and they are different in different countries.
  • You have to take the help of the expert to know the type wastes generated by your plant & the ways in which you can retreat it & use it your benefits. 

With this, I think we‚ covered a large chunk of the information you require while setting up mining plant. The read will help you get a clear idea about the steps you have to plan further!

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