Before steel bars were used to reinforce buildings, and bridges or diamonds were cut to fit wedding rings, they were first just chunks of ore. The same can be said of all other metals and stones that make up much of the world’s structures, furniture, and jewelry. Unfortunately, unlike other natural resources, metal-containing ore deposits are not easily accessible and must instead be extracted from deep within the Earth’s crust through mining.
Mining is a multibillion dollar industry obviously because of its colossal role in industrialization. It can be done in two ways—creating an open pit or an underground operation. Open-pit mining is ideal when ground inspection suggests that there’s a huge volume of ore deposit under the mining site. Underground mining can be done if the ore deposit is concentrated in deeper areas. The latter is a more popular option, especially if the mine site is surrounded by structures or close to a community.
In underground mining, shafts are developed to provide workers and machines with access to the ore underneath. Once a shaft is built, mine skips and cages will be installed for the transportation of extracted ore, equipment and employees. The ore will be drilled and crushed to be easily conveyed through the skips. After extracting all ore deposits, the shaft will be closed by filling with the overburden produced during excavation.
Facing Challenges in Mining
Miners face a lot of issues during ore extraction. One of these is the inconsistency of the composition of the metal or mineral ores being extracted. Variation in ore composition raises the need for multiple analysis, which in turn causes multiple shifts in extraction techniques and equipment. In case larger ore deposits that did not appear in the initial survey are discovered, the operation may double in speed, affecting the condition of the equipment and skips.
Improving Extraction Efficiency
To prevent downtime issues in a mining operation, the mine must be constructed using high-quality equipment and conveyance systems. For example, mine skips must be well designed to ensure that they perform consistently without costly interruptions during extraction. Using high-quality skips will ensure the continuity of the extraction process regardless of the quantity of ore to be conveyed.
Mining companies must carefully choose their supplier of mine haulage systems to ensure high productivity and less downtime. Manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp are their best option for high-performance steel skips and cages. Their products are made of tough alloys that can perform well even in the harshest conditions.
Key Issues Facing the Mining Industry in 2014, acceleratingscience.com
Extraction and Processing of Minerals & the Environmental Impacts of Mineral Use, study.com