How Mining Works explains complex mining concepts in a way simple enough for those who are not familiar with the industry, yet thorough enough to be useful to long-time professionals.
This colorful book presents a logical and sensible sequence for acquiring a strong working knowledge of the world of mining. Chapter 1 provides a quick geology review, explaining how the earth is structured; how, why, and where mineral ores are created; and how technological advances help us make educated guesses about where to locate new mines.
The next three chapters present mining and refining operations. Chapter 2 offers in-depth explanations about the different types of mining, the equipment and procedures needed for both surface and underground mining. Chapter 3 follows with six methods for processing the ore into usable refined metal. And, since not all mines produce metals, Chapter 4 covers nonmetallic operations that produce coal, diamonds, and aggregates.
The second half of the book puts mining in the context of the wider world. Chapter 5 examines four types of mining waste and how to deal with each. Chaper 6 looks at labor practices, environmental sustainability, and work and community health and safety--all critical in today's highly regulated environment.
Chaper 7 highlights mining economics, with detailed information on how mined prducts are priced, monetary arranagmeents between mines and smelters, and even the impact of reserves on mining's future.
Chapter 8 takes a visionary yet practical look at the future of mining, covering not only advances in expected areas (like robotics) but also in biotechnology, with a fascinating look at how plants, insects, and various microbes could be used to detect the presence of minerals and extract metals. Appendix A provides a crash course in the chemistry sometimes needed to understand why rock goes in and metal comes out.