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First, go to the class website, and click on the
“Mining” tab on the left hand side.
Mining removes rocks and minerals
that contain useful metals from the
Earth’s crust.
Image: G. Plumlee, USGS
How are metals useful?
Click on the link that says “ Common
Minerals in our Environment” on MyHaiku to
explore some of the uses of metals.
Many mines are large surface
Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co.
Some mines are underground.
Image: US Bureau of Mines
Drilling cuts holes in metal-bearing
rock where explosives can be placed.
Explosions - or blasts - break metalbearing rock into blocks and fragments.
Image: US Bureau of Mines
Metal-bearing rock broken by
blasting is hauled to a crusher.
Image: US Bureau of Mines
Crushed metal-bearing rock - most
pieces smaller than a baseball - is ready
for processing that removes metals.
Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co.
All mines eventually deplete their
valuable metal-bearing rock and
Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co.
There are 5 types of mining you need
to know: The first is….Strip mining
Strip mining only works if the useful mineral is
near the surface.
Mining companies basically strip the
vegetation and soil (called Overburden)
above the useful mineral.
2) Open pit mining
3) Mountaintop Removal Mining
Used to mine coal around a mountain top.
Makes steep terrain flat.
4) Dredging
Mining for metals in aquatic environments.
5) Highwall Mining
Mining from exposed rock faces
What do we mine for other than
Coal and Oil, both used for energy
Coal is the main source of energy in
the United States. We burn it, which
then heats up water, and the steam
from the water powers a turbine
which makes energy.