Now that underground mining technology is making underground mining easier and safer, many people believe that it is the future of mining. Even though other people argue that underground mines are expensive and dangerous for the miners, there are a lot of advantages to underground mining. Here are 9 of these advantages.
1. Underground mining technology is increasing safety
Thanks to new underground mining technology, underground mining is now safer than it used to be. With the help of analytics and the Internet of Things, monitoring underground mining operations is simple, and it ensures the safety and health of miners.
2. Land acquisition is more simple
Before a new mine can be opened, land needs to be acquired by the mining company. For surface mining, a large area needs to be acquired, but land acquisition is much more simple for underground mining. Only a small area needs to be acquired for pit tops and offices.
3. Blasting the ground with explosives is not required
Surface mining involves breaking up the ground and blasting it with explosives. Underground mining, on the other hand, only requires digging holes and passages from the surface to the area where the minerals and ore are hiding so they can be extracted.
Compared to surface mining, underground mining causes less damages to the environment. It doesn’t destroy the soil used for agriculture, and it doesn’t destroy the forest. It also won’t disturb the ecosystem of the area, and it won’t generate as much wastewater as surface mining.
4. Underground mines are hidden
Underground mines are hidden underground, with only pit tops and offices located on the surface. This means that the land above the underground mining area can be claimed for other uses, which is not the case with surface mining.
Underground mining generally doesn’t generate as much dust and noise as surface mining, since the mining operations are located below the surface of the earth. Surface mines are responsible for more pollution and more mess than underground mines.
5. Underground mines can be backfilled
When underground mines are not being exploited anymore, they can be backfilled with waste rock that comes from a new mine. This will help stabilize the ground, so the old underground mines will not collapse.
When the minerals and ore close to the surface of the earth are becoming more and more rare, underground mining is a good solution. It allows miners to extract more minerals and ore, more efficiently than with surface mines.
6. It can be a very cost-efficient choice
Starting a new underground mine is expensive, and ensuring the safety of miners and the efficiency of the mining operations makes it even more expensive. However, since it allows mining companies to have access to more minerals and ore, underground mining can quickly become a very cost-effective choice.