Mining Engineering
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Mining Engineering : Introduction

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Mining is a worldwide activity involving the extraction of non-metallic, metal ores of all kinds and solid fuels and energy sources such as coal and nuclear material. Mining engineering, also referred as mineral engineering, is a branch of engineering that deals with the study of the application, techniques to extract and process valuable minerals from their natural surroundings for processing and utilization. It involves all phases of mining operations starting from exploration and discovery, checking the feasibility, development, production, processing and marketing to final land restoration and rehabilitation. Mining Engineers are responsible for locating natural reserves of minerals, petroleum (There are petroleum Engineers specialised in extraction and production of Petroleum) and other useful natural substances with the help of geologists, and then to lay out plans, design shafts, inclines or quarries for the safe extraction of these resources, whether it is coal, petroleum, metallic or non-metallic minerals, from under the earth. The function of the mining engineer is to apply knowledge of relevant scientific theory, engineering fundamentals and improved technology to recover natural resources. Mining engineers are engaged in finding, extracting and preparing coal, metals, and minerals for the manufacturing and utility industries.

Some mining engineers work with geologists and metallurgical engineers to locate and appraise new ore deposits. Others design and supervise construction of open pit and underground mines including mine shafts and tunnels or design methods for transporting minerals to processing plants. Mining engineers are also responsible for the safe, low cost and environmentally sound operation of mines. These engineers usually specialize in the mining of a particular mineral or metal like coal or gold. Mining Engineers are responsible for the survey of the mining sites; exploration of the sites for mineral and oil deposits; designing and development of the life support system for underground mines; researching and designing most cost effective mining equipments and mineral extraction technologies.

Mining engineers engaged in the day-to-day operations of mine are responsible for mine safety, ventilation, water supply, power and communication and equipment maintenance. Mining Engineers must ensure that a project will be environmentally safe, not harmful to its natural surroundings. Some mining engineers specialize in the design and development of new mining equipments. If an underground mine is to be used, engineers design mine shafts and tunnels. If the situation calls for surface mining, the engineers decide where to dig the pits and where to put the rock and soil that are removed during the mining process.

Mining engineers supervise the mining operation. They train the crew of workers and supervisors. Engineers and engineering technicians inspect mines to make sure that the roofs of underground mines are supported correctly and that the air in mine shafts does not contain poisonous gases. These engineers may also inspect and repair mining equipment. Some mining engineers help to plan ways of restoring the land around mine sites so that it can be used for other purposes.


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