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MINING LECTURE 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 Metals-2-1 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 excavations. Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co. Metals-2-2 Some mines are underground. Image: US Bureau of Mines Metals-2-3 Drilling cuts holes in metal-bearing rock where explosives can be placed. Metals-2-1 Explosions - or blasts - break metalbearing rock into blocks and fragments. Image: US Bureau of Mines Metals-2-5 Metal-bearing rock broken by blasting is hauled to a crusher. Image: US Bureau of Mines Metals-2-6 Crushed metal-bearing rock - most pieces smaller than a baseball - is ready for processing that removes metals. Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co. Metals-2-7 All mines eventually deplete their valuable metal-bearing rock and close. Image: Kennecott Utah Copper Co. Metals-2-8 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 metals? 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.