The Importance of Mining Industry

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The
importance of mining is definitely significant to
Canada. Mining, is an important industry, and
Canadians are very advanced in their mining
technology, but during the mining process, there is
certain level of pollution produced. The Canadian
government and the mining companies have very
good plans and controls toward this problem,
while ensuring the smooth running of the industries,
and also helping to create strong economy and
employment. The world of today could not exist
without mineral products. Canada produces about
60 minerals and ranks first among producing
countries1. As well, Canada is the largest exporter
of minerals, with more than 20 per cent of
production shipped to world markets2. In a
typical year, the mining industry is responsible for
almost 20 per cent of Canada's total export
earnings3 (See Appendix A). As for the
employment rate, over 70 per cent of the mines
are owned by Canadians and approximately
108,000 Canadians are directly employed in the
mining industry4. Mining is very important in
Canadian life. Not only do the products power the
family car and heat the family home, the
manufacturing sector, the high tech industries and
even the better known resource industries are all
dependent, in some way, on the mining industry.
The mining industry will continue to be an
important support to the economy. Mining is
taking full advantage of the quick expansion of
computers and microelectronics. These
technologies are found in nearly every aspect of
mineral development activity - from exploration
methods, through production, mineral processing
and even marketing. Computers and related
equipment now have a lot of different applications
in geophysical logging, geochemistry, geological
mapping and surface contouring5. At the mine
planning stage, the job of designing a mine is now
greatly simplified by automation. Through the use
of advanced software, geological models can be
produced from drill hole data. Computers are also
being used to develop plans for mine expansion,
develop mining schedules for yearly, quarterly and
in some cases, weekly operations. At the
operating stage, this new technology is
everywhere6. Both in research and operational
applications, automated mine monitoring systems
now determine immediate information on the status
of equipment in underground or remote locations.
Canada produces its 60 mineral products from
roughly 300 mines across the country7. Before
these products can make the trip from mines to the
marketplace, they must be searched for, staked,
tested, analyzed, developed. There are many
difference methods to mine for minerals, an "open
pit" mine is one of the method we use today. The
ore - waste material along with the minerals, is
recovered directly from the surface. Drilling rigs
are used to drill holes into the ore areas and
blasting charges will be set in them to break loose
the ore. The ore: first stop is at the primary
crushing station, often located underground, where
the large chunks of ore are crushed to a finer size.
Further crushing is required prior to sending the
ore to the mill where it is ground to a fine
powder8. The purpose of crushing and grinding is
to free the minerals from the rock. Treatment may
consist of gravity or chemical concentration
techniques. The end product of the mill is a
concentrate, whereby the percentage of valuable
mineral has been increased by a factor of 10 to as
much as 50 times contained in the ore9. The
concentration operation may be complicated or
relatively simple, depending on the mineral content
of the ore. Milling processes are designed to
separate the valuable minerals from the undesired
minerals. Although the milling process separates
valuable minerals from waste, it does not actually
recover the metals in final form. The smelting
operation treats the metal-bearing concentrate
further, up-grading it to purer form called "matte".
Basically: The...
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