Open-pit mining is a kind of surface mining. Mining companies choose this way to get rocks and minerals out of the ground because it is the easiest and cheapest way to do it. Open-pit mining is only used if the rocks or minerals are close to the surface of the land or if a normal tunnel-type of mine isn't possible.
The top layers of the land are removed. After that, layer after layer is taken away until the rock or mineral is visible. This is taken out, processed when it needs it, and sold. Taking away layer after layer of land creates a gigantic, open hole (or pit) that keeps getting deeper and deeper until there is nothing left to bring out. Explosives (like dynamite) are used when the miners want to get large blocks of materials out of the earth.
Most of the time, when the mining company is done with it, the pit is used as a landfill. A landfill is used as a dump to get rid of our garbage. When it is filled with garbage, it is covered over with layers of dirt. After the garbage rots a long time, the land can be used again.
Some examples of locations of open pit mining in Australia are: (Super Pit) – gold mine near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (Cadia mine) – gold and copper mine located near Orange, New South Wales (Boddington Gold Mine) – Boddington, Western Australia
(Telfer Mine) – Gold and copper mine in Pilbara, Western Australia (Ranger Mine)– Uranium mine east of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Weipa, Queensland.
To get at the mineral, rocks and wealth just below the surface, the entire area needs to be stripped of all vegetation and natural animal habitats. For example, Brazil has some of the largest open pit mines in the world, which have been created by removing thousands of acres of rain forest, which sustained countless numbers of animal species.
Mining requires loads of machines to dig out the minerals, large trucks to take them away and further machines to process the resource. These all run on...