The variety of Mining: Surface Mining and Underground Mining

The variety of Mining: Surface Mining and Underground Mining


Mining starts with the extraction of raw materials, followed by processing, refining and finally recycling the materials.´

Mining itself can be divided into surface mining and undergroundmining. Surface mining is often applied in the production of lignite, but also metal ores can be hauled via surface mining when the ore is near under the surface. Underground mining in general is more costly and requires a high capital input before the precious mineral can be processed and marketed.

Ore-preparation, refining and recycling

Not only the haulage of ore is decisive but also the processing, refining and – at a later stage – the recycling of raw materials is closely linked to the nature of the ore and the mineral itself.
Aluminum is treated differently compared to gold or iron or coal.
In general the preparation and processing of ores requires the application of advanced process control technologies.

Technical objectives:

  • Transport: only the valuable materials will be transported
  • Coal and ores are optimized for further processing
  • Protection of the environment

Characteristic technologies in use:

  • Mechatronical systems
  • Process automation and control technology
  • Various types of pumps and valves


Surface Mining
Marked by the application of key-technologies like:

  • Mechanical Engineering in order to maintain the heavy duty machinery
  • Large diesel engines in trucks and dozers; alternatively electric drives in bucket excavators and conveyor belts e.g.
    • Mobile hydraulic systems as integral part for dozers and excavators
    • Transport systems like conveyor belts
    • Water management systems


Underground Mining
The specialities can be summarized as follows:

  • Special safety requirements because of high explosion risk (coal mines in specific)
  • Special communication systems are applied
  • Special mine support systems to stabilize tunnels and shafts
  • Ventilation and air conditioning are important as the climate is getting warmer in the depth
  • Lifting and the transportation of goods and miners through special trains, vehicles and other devices
  • Application of specialized machines, e.g. shearers or ploughs
  • Application of various mechanical sysems – belts, chains, mechanical power transmission components like gearboxes and clutches, braking systems
  • Water management is of high importance; pumps, pipes, pressure relief systems have to guarantee that the mine stays dry