The U.S. mining industry involves the process of locating, extracting, processing, and beneficiating naturally occurring solid minerals from the Earth. These minerals and materials can include iron, zinc, copper, and coal. Some mining sites focus on rocks such as potash, limestone, and gravel. There are various mining methods that can be employed to extract desired materials, depending on the type of material.

Although there are many types of mining, the most common one is surface mining. Underground mining, placer mining, and in-situ mining are also types of mining. Each of these methods has its advantages, as they utilize specialized equipment suited to a wide range of purposes.

This post aims to provide a better understanding of different mining techniques. American Mine Services offers unparalleled services to a variety of mining sites. Please contact us to learn more about our company and processes.

Mining Assets

Any piece of equipment necessary for ore extraction is considered a mining asset. These can include trucks, drills, and conveyors.

Examples of mining assets include:

Crusher: A device designed to reduce rock into smaller fragments.

Conveyor belt: A flat, long piece of metal used to transport materials.

Drill rig: A machine that bores holes in the ground.

Loader: A machine that picks up materials and transports them to another location.

Haulage vehicle: A vehicle used to transport people or goods.

Truck: A large vehicle capable of carrying heavy loads.

The assets listed above are essential for the smooth operation of mining processes and can be utilized in various mining operations.

Surface Mining

Surface mining involves the extraction of ore from the earth using heavy machinery. The ore is then transported from the mine, typically by rail or truck.

Surface mining has the advantage of being easy to set up, as it doesn’t require tunnels or shafts. However, it has the disadvantage of disturbing the land, which can lead to environmental problems such as erosion and pollution.

The cost of setting up a surface mining operation is also high due to the land required and the expenses associated with installing infrastructure. Surface mining methods include:

Strip mining: Land is stripped of rocks and vegetation before excavation, often used for extracting coal and other hard materials.

Mountaintop removal: Involves removing mountain tops and mining the remaining area, with material easily transported from steep slopes.

Open-pit mining: Large areas are excavated to create a hole, and ore is brought to the surface via conveyor belts. Gold, silver, and copper are commonly extracted using this method, as it utilize powerful mining equipment like trucks, shovels, and other heavy-duty tools capable of moving large quantities of rock and material.

Underground Mining

Underground mining takes place when mineral deposits are found deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Preparing for underground mining is more challenging than for surface mining because it requires additional safety measures.

This process involves blasting holes in the ground to create tunnels, which are then filled with concrete to protect the surrounding area. The ore is subsequently transported from the mine using drill rigs, with transportation typically carried out by train or truck.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of mine substations. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.