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Mining is extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth usually from an orebody, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposits. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.
Ores recovered by mining include metals, coal, oil shale, gemstones, limestone, chalk, dimension stone, rock salt, potash, gravel, and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or even water.
Mining of stones and metal has been a human activity since pre-historic times. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, and final reclamation of the land after the mine is closed.
Mining operations usually create a negative environmental impact, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed. Hence, most of the world's nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has long been a concern as well, and modern practices have significantly improved safety in mines.
Levels of metals recycling are generally low. Unless future end-of-life recycling rates are stepped up, some rare metals may become unavailable for use in a variety of consumer products. Due to the low recycling rates, some landfills now contain higher concentrations of metal than mines themselves.
- Make the environment-poverty link and introduce cutting-edge wealth measures and natural capital accounts.
- Reform old taxes in line with more recent financial innovation, engage directly with the companies, enacting land use and impact assessments, and incorporate specialised support and standards agencies.
- Set in play transparency and community participation initiatives using the wealth accrued.
Major companies are considered to have an adjusted annual mining-related revenue of more than US$500 million, with the financial capability to develop a major mine on its own.
Intermediate companies have at least $50 million in annual revenue but less than $500 million.
Junior companies rely on equity financing as their principal means of funding exploration. Juniors are mainly pure exploration companies, but may also produce minimally, and do not have a revenue exceeding US$50 million.
- Woytinsky, W. S., and E. S. Woytinsky. World Population and Production Trends and Outlooks (1953) pp 749–881; with many tables and maps on the worldwide mining industry in 1950, including coal, metals and minerals
- Ali, Saleem H. (2003) Mining, the Environment and Indigenous Development Conflicts. Tucson AZ: University of Arizona Press.
- Ali, Saleem H. (2009) Treasures of the Earth: need, greed and a sustainable future. New Haven and London: Yale University Press
Even-Zohar, Chaim (2002). From Mine to Mistress: Corporate Strategies and Government Policies in the International Diamond Industry. Mining Journal Books. p. 555. ISBN .
- Geobacter Project: Gold mines may owe their origins to bacteria (in PDF format)
- Garrett, Dennis Alaska Placer Mining
Jayanta, Bhattacharya (2007). Principles of Mine Planning (2nd ed.). Wide Publishing. p. 505. ISBN .
- Morrison, Tom (1992) Hardrock Gold: a miner's tale.
- John Milne: The Miner's Handbook: A Handy Reference on the subjects of Mineral Deposits(1894) Mining operations in the 19th century.
- Aryee, B., Ntibery, B., Atorkui, E. (2003) Trends in the small-scale mining of precious minerals in Ghana: a perspective on its environmental impact (in Journal of Cleaner Production 11: 131-140)
- The Oil, gas and Mining Sustainable Community Development Fund (2009) Social Mine Closure Strategy, Mali(in )
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