About the book
The industrial revolution and technological up-gradation over the years have brought about many changes in the mining techniques and processes worldwide and have made the mining of minerals, safe as well as competitive. Nowadays, both surface mines and underground mines for mineral excavation, are an indicator of economic growth and energy consumption for any mineral-rich country. Mining was art in older times. Indeed, mining excavation started with pick-axe and chisel way back in pre-Harappan times and pre-Christian era. 'Rathole mining' was operational in an earlier period for mining at shallow depth (underground method). But in the present time, it is turned from art to science because of the involvement of technologies and machinery. Mining techniques are many and categorized on the basis of the mineral type being excavated. Accordingly, fuel minerals (coal and lignite), industrial minerals, atomic minerals, metallic minerals (ore) non- metallic minerals and minor minerals are the broad categories of minerals, being mined worldwide. The run-of-mine or ROM is the term generally used for mineral/ore/material produced from the mine. Cleaned and concentrated ROM of metallic ore in particular when processed or beneficiated for the extraction of a mineral product - A higher-quality product, is termed as 'mineral processing'. The mineral products so produced may then undergo further concentration, refinement, smelting or conversion process to provide metal which is marketed and sold to users as consumer products.
If the excavation used for mining is entirely open or operated from the surface, it is usually referred to as 'surface mine'. The surface mine could be a 'pit mine' (open-pit mine) or a 'hill mine' and their mining techniques are designated as open cast mining and open cast stripping, respectively. If the ore /mineral excavation is carried out from openings below the earth’s surface with only the miner's entry from the surface it is called an 'Underground Mine'.
The book's scope is envisioned to cover surface mining and surface mine development, underground mining and its development including, special methods of mining (novel methods and technologies in mining). Thus, coal mining techniques, metal mining techniques, hydraulic mining and solution mining techniques etc., including their selection, can be described chapter-wise in this reference book. Only solid minerals can be included and discussed here including atomic minerals e.g. uranium and rare earth etc. It is significant to note here that the petroleum and natural gas and their production is not associated with this type of extraction. All such resources are under the mineral resource category but are associated with a separate industry having specialized technology of its own.
Mining and its consequences, stages of mining, unit operations of mining, impact of mining and statuary compliance for general applications etc. form part of the mining techniques. The details of the mining methodology, sequencing, layout and equipment used in the mine, distinguishes the mining method used in the excavation of mineral. Description of all these can be included in the book to make it more practical as well as useful. During the last two-three decades, great evolutionary progress in mining and excavation techniques/ methodology has been achieved in the industry in many areas. In today’s world, it is essential to highlight and include the application of computers in the mineral /mining industry, which is intended to be done in this book for mines and in mining engineering applications.