Mostly, hills are mined by ‘Strip mining’ i.e. removing the hills from top. This conventional approach destroys the landscape and defaces the beauty of the hill. Besides, a large amount of dust generated at source disturbs the villagers and nearby human settlements during the excavation operation or related activities. To eliminate this, and remove the ‘out yard dumping of material’, except at initial stage i.e. during developmental phase, if tunneling methods of civil construction work is applied, ‘the conventional hill mining’ can be turned into an eco-friendly hill mining with very little planning efforts. This chapter highlights the abovementioned aspects of ‘hill mining’ covering overviews about the ‘hill mining by tunneling method’. In this technique, the extraction of mineral deposits is done by driving tunnels at the bottom (or other accessible higher level of the hills) and combining it with cross-cuts and adits, to protect the green cover and the serene hill environment. A case study of limestone mining in hilly Meghalaya region of India forms a part of the description where its feasibility exists.
Part of the book: Mining Techniques