If your mining knowledge is limited to the occasional movie or news articles, perhaps it’s time for a bit of self-education. Mining is still a prevalent and booming industry in the United States (and the world!)
It’s Not Just About Coal – While it is true that coal is a-plenty in the United States (with 475 billion tons of coal reserves, making up 27% of the world’s supply), it is not the only thing available for mining. Iron, copper, zinc, gold, uranium, nickel, lithium, and lead (to name a few) must all be located, extracted, beneficiated, and processed for use in manufacturing and everyday necessities.
The Benefits of Mining
- Energy Independence: As a nation, the U.S. has vast amounts of energy sources right at our fingertips. Both coal and uranium are used to produce energy — and we have lots of both! It’s also a massive boost to the economy, both locally and nationally, as it provides jobs, promotes urbanization, and allows for exportation.
- It’s Gotten Cleaner: Innovation has radically changed the way we mine. It is now one of the most technologically advanced industries in the United States.
- It’s Necessary: You probably don’t even think twice about it. But mined products make up a part of your everyday life. Our world can not operate without them. That smartphone in your hand was created with mined copper, silver, and gold. The high rises downtown are built with steel, developed from mined iron. Solar panels. Wind turbines. Cars. Bicycles. Batteries. All of them are created with mined minerals, industrial minerals, and metals — all mined. (Even that ceramic coffee mug at your desk has the mined mineral zircon in it.)
Methods of Mining
There are four general, different types of mining, each with its purpose, costs, and impacts.
- Underground mining is used for reaching deposits deep in the earth.
- Surface mining is used to extract less precious and more shallow deposits.
- Placer mining sifts out the desired metals from other sediments. (Such as sand and riverbanks.)
- In-situ mining dissolves the desired minerals (usually uranium) out of their habitat (usually ore) and pumps them up to the surface for extraction. The result is the minerals are obtained with little disruption to the surface.
Of course, mining takes a variety of skilled and experienced workers. As one of our industry focus points at Gillmann Services, we supply our mining clients’ talent. We pledge to deliver quality. “We work for you!” is our motto! Call us today, and let’s get started.