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Andres Bonifacio Avenue, Tibanga, Iligan City 9200

Prepared by : Arvin-Ivan P. Milanes

Subject/Section : Elements of Mining (EM 113) W45
Topic : Introduction to Surface mining methods and the
Underground mining methods
Professor : Engr. Anshawer Sly D. Bara-acal
Group # :5
To understand well what is surface mining and underground mining
To learn different types of surface mining methods and underground mining methods
To be able to know the difference of surface mining and underground mining.

1. Introduction
Mining techniques can be divided into two common excavation types: surface mining
and underground mining. Today surface mining is much more common and produces 85% of
minerals around the globe.
The method used depends on the type of mineral resources that is mined, its location,
and whether the resources is worth enough money to justify extracting it. Each mining
method also has varying degrees of impact on the surrounding landscape and environment.
2. Sequence of the report
I. Surface Mining
II. Types of Surface Mining
i. Open-pit Mining
ii. Strip Mining
iii. High Wall Mining
iv. Mountaintop Removal
v. Dredging
vi. Auger Mining
vii. Quarry
viii. Placer Mining
III. Equipment Used In Surface Ming
a. Articulated Dump truck
b. Bucket Wheel Excavator
c. Cable Excavators
d. Continuous Miner
e. Crawler Tractor
f. Draglines
g. Dredging equipment
h. Front shovel
i. Loader Backhoe
j. Conveyor
IV. Underground Mining

V. Different Types of Underground Mining

a) Room and pillar Mining
b) Long wall mining
c) Cut-and-Fill stoping
d) Sublevel Stoping
e) Block Caving
f) Borehole Mining
g) Shaft Mining
h) Slope Mining
VI. References

3. Content of the report

I. Surface Mining
Surface mining is a form of mining in which the soil and the rock covering the mineral
deposits are removed. It is the other way of underground mining, in which the overlying rock is
left behind, and the required mineral deposits are removed through shafts or tunnels.

Surface mining is basically employed when deposits of commercially viable minerals or rock
are found closer to the surface; that is, where overstrain (surface material covering the valuable
deposit) is relatively very less or the material of interest is structurally unsuitable for heavy
handling or tunneling (as would usually be the case for sand, cinder, and gravel).

Surface mining is often preferred to underground mining by mining companies for several
reasons. It is less expensive, there are fewer complications in terms of electricity and water
and it is safer.

II. Types of Surface Mining

There are 5 main types of surface mining, which are used in various degrees and for
different resources.

i. Open-pit Mining This type of mining involves the extraction of rock or minerals from
the earth by forming an open pit. This process differ from the other method which
requires digging into the earth. The pit in an open-pit is created by blasting with
explosives and drilling. This type of mining is typically used to mine gravel and sand and
even rock.

ii. Strip Mining is very similar to an open-pit mining. In strip mining, access to the mineral
seam is undertaken with the removal of the overburden in strips. This kind of mining
can be done when the mineral to be extracted is almost near to the surface. Given the
bulk of material needing to be removed, some of the machinery used in strip mining is
some of the largest machinery ever constructed. Two examples are bucket wheel
excavators and dragline excavators.

iii. High Wall Mining is a combination of surface mining techniques and underground
mining techniques. In this method the Hydraulic Push-beam Transfer Mechanism is
used to cut across the earths surface and extract the coal. High wall mining is
performed remotely by a person in a cabin at the surface who uses a television camera
to monitor and control the continuous miner machine.

iv. Mountaintop Removal this is an alternative and more recent version of strip mining.
Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of steep mountains to expose
desired deposits below. The excavated overburden from the mountaintop is deposited
in nearby low valley areas known as valley fills.

v. Dredging this is a method by which underwater minerals are extracted. It is usually

used to make waterways for boats and navigation canals for the passage of container
ships to save time. The mineral can be extracted from under water in a cheap and
efficient way.
vi. Auger Mining - method for recovering coal by boring into a coal seam at
the base of strata exposed by excavation. Normally one of the lowest-cost
techniques of mining, it is limited to horizontal or slightly pitched seams that
have been exposed by geologic erosion. Augering is usually associated with
contour strip-mining, recovering coal for a limited depth beyond the point
where stripping becomes uneconomical because the seam of coal lies so far
beneath the surface.

vii. Quarry - place where dimension stone or aggregate (sand, gravel, crushed
rock) is mined. The products of dimension stone quarries are prismatic
blocks of rock such as marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and slate. After
cutting and polishing, these materials are used in the primary construction
of buildings and monuments and also for decorative facing materials applied
to the exterior and interior of buildings. Dimension stones are extracted in a
highly selective manner, using time-consuming and expensive methods for
freeing the blocks from the surrounding rock.

viii. Placer Mining - is the mining of stream bed (alluvial) deposits for minerals.
This may be done by open-pit (also called open-cast mining) or by various
surface excavating equipment or tunnelling equipment.Placer mining is
frequently used for precious metal deposits (particularly gold) and
gemstones, both of which are often found in alluvial depositsdeposits of
sand and gravel in modern or ancient stream beds, or occasionally glacial
deposits. The metal or gemstones, having been moved by stream flow from
an original source such as a vein, are typically only a minuscule portion of
the total deposit. Since gems and heavy metals like gold are considerably
more dense than sand, they tend to accumulate at the base of placer

III. Equipment used in Surface Mining

Articulated Dump truck are used to move sand, soil, gravel and rock. They are
among then newest additions to construction and mining industries.
Bucket Wheel Excavator is a machine that digs and excavates dirt continuously
with the help of buckets, chutes and a conveyor apparatus.
Cable Excavators are large earthmoving machines used for heavy excavation
of materials with the use of cables or wire ropes.
Continuous Miner is a machine that produces a constant flow of ore from the
working face of the mine.
Crawler Tractor is a construction vehicle that moves on tracks instead of
Draglines comprise some of the largest earthmoving equipment in the world.
They used primarily for excavating earth to uncover coal and other bulk
Dredging equipment is a piece of equipment used for excavating in underwater
applications. It employs a mechanism that scrapes and sucks sediment from the
Front shovel the main purpose is to move earth. It digs above track level in an
upward motion crowding material away from itself.
Loader Backhoe is a piece of equipment for nearly any construction project.
It is a multi-purpose vehicle combining the ability of an excavator and a loader.
Conveyor - system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that
moves materials from one location to another.

IV. Underground Mining

Underground mining is carried out when the rock, minerals, or precious stones are
located at a distance far beneath the ground to be extracted with surface mining. To
facilitate the minerals to be taken out of the mine, the miners construct underground
rooms to work in. The primary objective of underground mining is to extract ore from
underground as safely and economically as possible while producing as little as waste or
tailings as possible.

V. Different Types of Underground Mining

Many forms of underground mining exist. However, every underground mine is similar in
that it requires a point of entrance from the surface. This entry may be through an adit,
mine shaft, or vertical or horizontal tunnel.
a. Room and pillar Mining is the most common method of underground mining.
The roof of the mine is supported by areas or columns of coal (pillars) spaced
out a regular intervals in rooms from which the coal is mined.
b. Long wall mining is more modern method of underground to extract coal from
a coal bed. The technique was developed to replace a room and pillar mining and
includes the mechanized removal of long panels of coal from a rock using
longwall equipment.
c. Cut-and-Fill stoping is a method of underground mining used in vertical stopes
and in mining high-grade irregular ore bodies. As the name of the method implies,
successive cutting of the ore into horizontal slices is carried out starting from
the bottom of the stope and progressing upward, towards the surface.
d. Sublevel Stoping is an underground method that involves vertical mining in a
large, open slope that has been create inside an ore vein. Usually the stope
operates as the center of production. In sublevel stoping, this is not the case.
The stope is not ment to be occupied. Drilling, blasting and mining are carried
out at different elevations in the rock.
e. Block Caving is an underground method that permits the bulk mining of large,
relatively low-grade bodies of ore. As a sublevel mining process, block caving
involves the controlled collapse of ore from under its own weight into chutes or
draw points using gravity. In order for a block caving operations to be successful,
the rock mass must be able to fracture naturally once an undercut has been
f. Borehole Mining is a remote controlled method of underground mining used to
mine a broad range of natural resources and industrial materials.
g. Shaft Mining is a form of underground mining using shafts driven vertically
from the top down into the earth to access ore or minerals. Shaft mining, also
termed as shaft sinking, is particularly ideal for concentrated mineral deposits,
such as iron or coal, that are deeply imbedded underground.
h. Slope Mining is a type of underground mining where the coal bed is located
very deep and parallel to the ground and the shafts are slanted. This type of
mining is normally carried out when the drilling shafts vertically downward
becomes problematic.

o Surface Mining. Absolute Astronomy, 2008-09-29
o Kennedy, A. Bruce. Surface Mining. SME, 1990, 752.
o Underground Mining Methods. Fact Monster. 23-06-2009.
o Hartman, L. Howard and Mutmansky, M. Jan. Introductory Mining Engineering. John
Wiley and Sons, 2002. 344