Underground mining is a type of mining method which has been around for many decades. Underground mining is the process where rocks and minerals which have been buried underground are extracted. This mining process requires the best underground mining technology and machines.
The equipment used in underground mining are very different from those used in surface mining. The whole processes are also different and the requirements as well. These requirements come with their own challenges and hindrances which also pose many different safety risks and expenses.
Perhaps the only motivations with this type of occupation are that the payoff is usually huge after the whole process is complete, and all work is done. This article will try and discuss with you some important facts about underground mining that you might not yet know about and are only known to the miners.
1. Underground mining a lot more money and resources compared to surface mining
It’s a fact that both mining types require a lot of resources to be achieved. But underground mining required a lot more resources for any of its functions and requirements to be met. For one, it requires a lot more tools than in surface mining.
Then comes the labor expenses. From the fact that underground mining is a lot more dangerous compared to surface mining, it becomes pricier. Talk about the increased health care, accountabilities in the miner’s benefits, and the safety risks involved among others. The safety of underground miner is also treated with the utmost importance which also requires that more funding is put in place to cater for all the safety precautions and protocols in the mines. The bottom line is that underground mining is definitely pricier compared to surface mining.
2. Underground mining consists of two categories: room-and-pillar and longwall
The room-and-pillar type of underground mining refers to the process where “rooms” are built in the coal seams and the “pillars” used to support the roof of the mines. The longwall, on the other hand, refers to the method where a longwall shearer is used to penetrate the underlying rocks.
The Independent Expert Scientific Committee, Australia, explains that most of the underground miners prefer to use the longwall method for mining instead of the latter. The longwall method is less risky to the miners and mining equipment and also more prominent compared to any of the other methods used to mine coal.
In the longwall process, the shearers are kept in place using an automated hydraulic ceiling support which keeps all the miners safe. A conveyor belt then receives the sheared coal panels which relieve the miners from operating in this process which also lowers the miner’s exposure to the coal dust.
3. The dividends are huge
No one will want to work in such a hazardous environment where any small mistake can cause catastrophic consequences and not get a generous compensation in return. For one, the risks are doubled, even tripled in underground mining compared to surface mining. And again, you don’t know what another kind of treasure you may bump into while mining down there. But when it comes to the dividends the underground miners get after the job is complete, you may think it’s worth it.