The mining industry is one of the world’s oldest and most dangerous working environments. Mining harkens back to ancient times when miners used to excavate minerals and metals by using simple hand held tools. While mining is commonly done to retrieve materials such as coal, copper, diamonds, iron, gold, granite, lead, limestone, manganese, magnesium, nickel, phosphate, platinum, tin, titanium, uranium, and zinc, it is also performed to extract natural gas and petroleum from the earth.
With the advent of automation and modernization, mining equipment today consists of the vast array of instruments and industrial machinery that are used for mining purposes. The two most important factors that need to be considered while choosing any type of mining equipment are its strength and durability. This machinery may be used for complex surface mining operations or in underground mining environments.
While there are various types of mining methods that are performed around the world they all fall under one of two mining categories. The two types of mining that are performed are surface mining and sub-surface mining. Surface mining includes methods such as open-pit mining, strip mining, quarrying, mountaintop removal, and placer mining. Sub-surface mining includes shaft mining, drift mining, borehole mining, slope mining, and hard rock mining.
Some examples of mining equipment that is used extensively in mining operations are: hard hats, clothing/gear, ventilation fans, rock dusters, tractors, earth movers, water jet pumps, cutting machines, drills, loaders, blasting devices, dozers, trucks, cranes, fork lifts, draglines and a host of other machinery that is too numerous to name here. One of the most important aspects of mining which shouldn’t be forgotten is the lighting system. A mining light might consist of a heat sink, LED or laser, magnetic switch or a focusing cone. While using this equipment, efficiency and the speed of operations need to be guaranteed in order to obtain optimum results. Modern day mining equipment is powered mainly by electricity and hydraulic energy.
Mining is a very dangerous process and it’s essential that everybody involved in the operation knows exactly how to use their tools properly. Each worker should be thoroughly trained with every piece of mining equipment they will be using. If the wrong piece of equipment or tool isn’t used for its specific purpose it could lead to disaster.