Open mining process

Starting from either open-pit or underground mining and using a different relevant treatment method for oxide or Copper Mining & Extraction Process Flow Chart. Griffin Coal uses the open cut mining method at the Collie mine. The extraction of coal has four distinct operations, Top Soil, Laterite, Overburden, Coal. Overburden. The Mining Process. The Mining Process. 1. Mining – open pit and underground. To define the ore from the waste rock, samples are taken and assayed.
Open-pit, open-cast or open cut mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow. Open-pit mining, also known as opencast mining, open-cut mining, and strip mining, means a process of digging out rock or minerals from the earth by their elimination. Starting from either open-pit or underground mining and using a different relevant treatment method for oxide or Copper Mining & Extraction Process Flow Chart. Griffin Coal uses the open cut mining method at the Collie mine. The extraction of coal has four distinct operations, Top Soil, Laterite, Overburden, Coal. Overburden. The Mining Process. The Mining Process. 1. Mining – open pit and underground. To define the ore from the waste rock, samples are taken and assayed.


This review will first define the difference between open pit mines and quarries. It will then cover the details on open pit mining methods, design aspects, and gives an example of an open pit mine. In the later half, quarrying is covered with more focus on the sequence of mining in a quarry. Its characteristics, mining machineries involved, and publications are also mentioned. Finally, a few more topics are covered which include computer codes, laws, and codes of practice, open mining process. Publications, organizations, and a list of companies supplying to open mining process quarrying industry are also open mining process.


Open pit mining is the process of mining a near surface deposit by means of a surface pit excavated using one or more horizontal benches, open mining process. The term open pit mining is usually used for metallic or non-metallic deposits and sparingly used for bedded deposits like coal. A quarry is a type of open pit mine open mining process to mine building materials (construction aggregate, riprap, sand and gravel) and dimension open mining process usually at shallower depths. The term quarry has traditionally been used to mine stones.


The ores in an open pit mine are covered by overburden. Both the ores and overburden are removed in benches ranging from height 9 m to 30 m. A thin deposit may require one or few benches but a thick deposit needs more number of benches and the pit in its production stage resembles like an inverted cone.

Design Aspects of Open Pit Mining:

1. Ultimate pit depth:
This is the maximum depth of the xbox one mining that it will reach at the end of its life. This is decided by economic reasons and a breakeven point is decided beyond which it is not economic to continue production. As this depends on economic conditions, a mine closed in 1980s can become economic now, as happened open mining process case of Copper Mountain Project.

2. Bench Height:
The bench height is usually decided by the economic reach of the mining equipment used in the mine. As a thumb rule, a bench height is equal to the economic bucket height of an excavator (like shovel or loader) plus 3 m. The thickness of the orebody and its dip and the thickness overburden also play a deciding role in the bench height. As mentioned in Coal Trading, the bench height depends up on:
a) Deposit character and geology: selectivity
b) Production strategy: ore/waste ratios, blending requirements, no. of working faces, operating/capital costs, etc.
c) Slope stability considerations
d) Equipment set / equipment specific optimum geometry

3. Bench Slope:
Bench Slope is decided by the geo-technical conditions of the overburden and the orebody.

4. Overall pit slope:
This is also decided by the geo-technical stability of the rocks in the mine, bench height and bench slope. Overall pit slope is always less than the bench slope.

5. Bench Width:
This is usually decided based on the space required for the operation of the equipment on it.

6. Haul Road Width & Slope:
This depends on the operating parameters of the trucks and other hauling equipment used in the mine. It is always wider than the bench width.

7. Bench Length:
The length of the bench depends on the production rate. A bench will be longer for higher production rate. Usually, open mining process at one bench is done not more than once a week. The extent of the orebody also has a deciding role here.

A simple diagram showing different design parameters is shown below:

A typical set of bench height, bench with and bench slope open mining process given below:

Bingham Canyon Mine (1990), (source - Introductory Mining Engineering, Hartman)

  • Total production of waste and ore = 290,000 tonnes per day
  • Longest horizontal dimension of pit = 4,000 m
  • Pit Depth = 800 blake256 mining - Roller bits rotary drills, 0.3 m dia
  • Shovel - 26 m3
  • Truck - 172 tonnes
  • Metals recovered: Cu, Mo, Au, Ag
  • Strip ratio - 0.83 / 1.0
  • Average grade - 0.6% Cu
  • Cut-off grade - 0.23% Cu

Wikipedia gives a very wide list of major open pit mines currently operating in the world.

Surface Mining by B. A. Kennedy provides an excellent source for mining engineers book on gold mining students to know about open pit mining.


Most quarries have smaller and vertical benches. Some of the quarries do gold mining west have any bench while some even have a highwall up to 300m, open mining process.

The kinds of rocks extracted from quarries comprise:

  • Cinder
  • Chalk
  • China Clay
  • Clay
  • Coal
  • Coquina
  • Construction aggregate (sand and gravel)
  • Globigerina Limestone (Malta)
  • Granite
  • Gritstone
  • Gypsum
  • Limestone
  • Ores
  • Phosphate rock
  • Sandstone
  • Slate
  • Marble


A quarry usually goes through the following stages before reaching the production stage:

1. Prospecting and Exploration:
The following properties of the rock are studied in the prospecting programs: physical & mineralogical properties, color and appearance, uniformity, strength, flaws, open mining process, cracks, etc.

2. Development:
Along with the removal of overburden, development stage also involves developing the processing and other construction facility near the quarry. The main role of the processing facility is to cut and polish the rock, open mining process. Large amount of wastes are generated in processing, so open mining process is required to plan for some storage/dump space for the cuttings.

3. Production: The stones/materials in a quarry are excavated with any of these methods:

a) Drill and Blast:
Depending upon the quality and fineness of the material desired, the drilling and blasting requirements are set. The more uniformity is required in the rock excavated, the more drilling and controlled blasting will be required. Light gunpowder is used as explosive to avoid any shattering effect which can bring a significant destruction of the stone shape and quality. Two types of blasting methods are used for quarrying:
(i) Wedges method
(ii)Plug-and-feather method

b) Compressed Air/Water and Explosives:
A small charge of dynamite is used to create cracks in the stone, which is then cut with compressed air or water to widen the cracks and break the stone.

c) Channelling and Use of Saw:
Channelling involves cutting long and narrow channels into the rock to free up a slice from the large rocks. Three techniques are used:
(i) Large amount of single-line drilling with a small shattering
(ii) Single line drilling with use of expansion mortars (non-explosives) like Dexpan and Rockfrac
(iii) Single-line drilling with use of non-explosives like Nonex and Magnum Buster, open mining process, which uses non-detonating chemicals to break rocks.
(iv) Use of a saw to produce vertical or horizontal cuts in the rock itself. Three types of saw are mainly used: Disc/crosscut Saw, Chain Saw and Diamond Wire Saw

4. Reclamation of quarries:

The main tasks involved in the reclamation of quarries are:

(i) Stability Monitoring - to analyse the long-term stability of areas or a particular landform in and around the quarry
(ii) Grassland Establishment - to restore on grasslands waste open mining process (iii) Tree Establishment - to restore the quarry sites through trees plantation. Trees restoration in a quarry site is a long term process and usually does not provide any significant visual impact in 10 years, open mining process. Selection of tree species is also important
(iv) Landscape Assessment for future application of the landforms for future application and habitat creation.

Reclamation of Limestone Quarries by Landform Simulation gives a very descriptive detail on the reclamation of a quarry.
An executive summary for the same can be found at the above link.


Here are some of the equipment used in quarries:


Here are the advatages and disadvantages of quarry open mining process that I took from Introductory Mining Engineering book, by Howard L. Hartman open mining process Jan M, open mining process. Mutmansky:


  • Low capital cost and low mechanization
  • Suited to some small deposits
  • Easily accessible; hoisting may complicate stock gold mining stones, supplies and workers
  • Stable wall and benches; generally no bank support required
  • High selectivity; can discard low quality stones
  • Good safety; little chance of slope failures


  • Somewhat limited by depth; usually less than 90m, can be up to 300m
  • Low productivity; high labor costs
  • Highest mining cost because of low productivity
  • Low production rate
  • Relatively skilled labor is required
  • Inflexible; cannot easily change the mining plan at depth
  • Mechanisation is open mining process by the nature of the method
  • Complicated and costly rock breakage method because of inability to use the maximum power of explosives
  • Waste can be 60% to 90%


Here are a few more valuable publications on quarries that I found on web:

Development & Reclamation Standards for Yukon Pits & Quarries

Reclamation of Limestone Quarries by Landform Simulation

The Arizona Marble Company Quarry in South-eastern Arizona

Aggregates Manager

Introductory Mining Engineering, 2nd Edition



A computer code that appears to facilitate all aspects of pit and quarry investigation, design, and operation is named unsurprisingly Quarry. Here is the supplier's description:
Quarry has everything you need for quarry design and planning. To open mining process out quarry infrastructure, there are a multitude of 3D CAD functions plus a set of semi-automated pit designtools to build a surface model of the Quarry 'as-mined' face at any point in time. You will find that you can modify the bench widths and heights and automatically include ramps in your design. For those in hilly terrains, open mining process, you can easily design to an existing seam or topographic surface and produce bench by bench volumes and grades from the proposed quarry.

Earthworks Corporation has the RM Manager code. It is described thus:

Earthworks RM Manager is an easy-to-use, menu driven system for monitoring and controlling the day-to-day operation of limestone quarries supplying raw material for cement open mining process. It has been designed for use by production staff with a good basic knowledge of quarry operations but does not assume skills in surveying, geology, mine planning or computing. The user is guided through a straightforward set of menu choices with online help at every stage. Menu choices are filled in automatically as processing proceeds so that the system can be operated with minimal training. Alternatively, full access to data files is provided by means of browse buttons so that more experienced staff can use the advanced options. Results may be output automatically to spreadsheets or customized graphs and tables.


If you look in the databases you will find many suppliers of mining equipment. Most of these suppliers would be as happy to supply your pit or quarry as any other mining operation. Here are some of them:

I am told that Breaker Technology Inc. is a premium supplier of equipment to the pit & quarry market, open mining process. Decide for yourself by examining their website. Be aware they are part of a larger group, the Astec International Aggregate and Mining Group whose purpose is "to grow and prosper by designing, manufacturing and selling the most innovative, productive and reliable equipment for building and restoring the world's infrastructure, coupled with unparalleled customer service." No demure claim this!


The only guide I will refer to here is the one that I found most interesting both because of its style, open mining process, format, and approach as because of the location for which it is intended: the Yukon. I refer to the excellent volume, Development & Reclamation Standards for Yukon Pits & Quarries. Many others guides specific to particular states are available through a web search using the keywords "your-state-name pit or quarry regulations".


In Ontario, open mining process, Canada there is the Aggregate Resources Act. The purposes of the act include: manage aggregate mining of aluminium require rehabilitation of land from which aggregates are mined; and minimize adverse impact on mining r9 285 environment in respect of aggregate operations. And, as you would expect, the act open mining process you to obtain a licence before you develop a pit or quarry and mine for aggregate.


Alberta, Canada has a comprehensive 2004 Code of Practice for Pits. It basically sets out how you will operate, report, and reclaim.


The Ontario Aggregate Resource Corporation site provides information for the holders of the 2,700 licenses and monero mining 1050 ti permits issued in Ontario to the aggregate industry. But the information is of interest and possible use to all in the aggregate, pit, and quarry industry. For example, I very much enjoyed and liked their publications, including well-produced volumes on pit and quarry rehabilitation, open mining process.

At this what is mining geology is a long list of aggregate and construction resources associations, not all having to do with pits or quarries.

Here are a few links specific to the Canadian aggregates industry:

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open cut mining process coal - Roadheaders

The Mining Process. The Mining Process. 1. Mining – open pit and underground. To define the ore from the waste rock, samples are taken and assayed. How Are Diamonds Mined From the In the case of artisanal mining, the extraction process takes a longer time as low tech equipment and The Kimberly open pit. Gold mining has been a dirty process for more than 4500 years, with conditions worsening as easily accessible deposits of gold have declined and open pit mining has. Environmental hazards are present during every step of the open-pit mining process. Hardrock mining exposes rock that has lain unexposed for geological eras. Open-pit mining (also known as open-cut mining or opencast mining) is a type of strip mining in which the ore deposit extends very deep in the ground, necessitating. Open-pit mining methods are applicable to mining ore deposits that apex at or near the surface. If the deposit apexes below the surface, the overburden and barren.

Mining: Mining, process of extracting useful minerals from the surface of the Earth, including the seas. A mineral, with a few exceptions, is an inorganic substance. Open pit mining is the process of mining a near surface deposit by means of a surface pit excavated using one or more horizontal benches. The term open pit mining is. Basics of an open pit mine. Open pit mines can be used in coal mining, From the start of the planning process.

"Opencast" redirects here. For open-source audio and video, see Opencast Matterhorn.

Open-pit, open-cast or open cut mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow.

This form of mining differs from extractive methods that require tunneling into the earth, such as long wall mining. Open-pit mines are used when deposits of commercially useful ore or rocks are found near the surface; that is, where the overburden (surface material covering the valuable deposit) is relatively thin or the material of interest is structurally unsuitable for tunnelling (as would be the case for sand, cinder, and gravel). For minerals that occur deep below the surface—where the overburden is thick or the mineral occurs as veins in hard rock—underground mining methods are used to extract the valued material.

Open-pit mines that produce building materials and dimension stone are commonly referred to as "quarries."

Open-pit mines are typically enlarged until either the mineral resource is exhausted, or an increasing ratio of overburden to ore makes further mining uneconomic. When this occurs, the exhausted mines are sometimes converted to landfills for disposal of solid wastes. However, some form of water control is usually required to keep the mine pit from becoming a lake, if the mine is situated in a climate of considerable precipitation or if any layers of the pit forming the mine border productive aquifers.


Open-cast mines are dug on benches, which describe vertical levels of the hole. These benches are usually on four to sixty meter intervals, depending on the size of the machinery that is being used. Many quarries do not use benches, as they are usually shallow.[1]

Most walls of the pit are generally mined on an angle less than vertical, to prevent and minimize damage and danger from rock falls. This depends on how weathered the rocks are (eroded rocks), and the type of rock, and also how many structural weaknesses occur within the rocks, such as a faults, shears, joints or foliations.

The walls are stepped. The inclined section of the wall is known as the batter, and the flat part of the step is known as the bench or berm. The steps in the walls help prevent rock falls continuing down the entire face of the wall. In some instances additional ground support is required and rock bolts, cable bolts and shotcrete are used. De-watering bores may be used to relieve water pressure by drilling horizontally into the wall, which is often enough to cause failures in the wall by itself.[2]

A haul road is usually situated at the side of the pit, forming a ramp up which trucks can drive, carrying ore and waste rock.[3]

Waste rock is hauled to a waste dump. Waste dumps can be piled at the surface of the active pit, or in previously mined pits.

Leftover waste from processing the ore is called tailings, and is generally in the form of a slurry. This is pumped to a tailings dam or settling pond, where the water is reused or evaporated. Tailings dams can be toxic due to the presence of unextracted sulfideminerals, some forms of toxic minerals in the gangue, and often cyanide which is used to treat gold ore via the cyanide leach process. If proper environmental protections are not in place, this toxicity can harm the surrounding environment.[4]


After mining finishes, the mine area may undergo land rehabilitation. Waste dumps are contoured to flatten them out, to further stabilise them. If the ore contains sulfides it is usually covered with a layer of clay to prevent access of rain and oxygen from the air, which can oxidise the sulfides to produce sulfuric acid, a phenomenon known as acid mine drainage.[5] This is then generally covered with soil, and vegetation is planted to help consolidate the material. Eventually this layer will erode, but it is generally hoped that the rate of leaching or acid will be slowed by the cover such that the environment can handle the load of acid and associated heavy metals.[6] There are no long term studies on the success of these covers due to the relatively short time in which large scale open pit mining has existed. It may take hundreds to thousands of years for some waste dumps to become "acid neutral" and stop leaching to the environment. The dumps are usually fenced off to prevent livestock denuding them of vegetation. The open pit is then surrounded with a fence, to prevent access, and it generally eventually fills up with ground water. In arid areas it may not fill due to deep groundwater levels.[7] Instead of returning the land to its former natural state, it may also be reused, converting it into recreational parks or even residential/mixed communities.[8]

Typical open cut grades[edit]

Gold is generally extracted in open-pit mines at 1 to 5 ppm (parts per million) but in certain cases, 0.75 ppm gold is economical. This was achieved by bulk heap leaching at the Peak Hill mine in western New South Wales, near Dubbo, Australia.[9]

Nickel, generally as laterite, is extracted via open-pit down to 0.2%. Copper can be extracted at grades as low as 0.11% to 0.2%.

Materials typically extracted from open-pit mines include:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

The giant coal excavators in the German Rhineland coal mines are the world's biggest land vehicles.
An open-pit sulfur mine at Tarnobrzeg, Poland undergoing land rehabilitation
  1. ^Mark A. Prelas; Galina Popovici; Louis K. Bigelow (23 September 1997). Handbook of Industrial Diamonds and Diamond Films. CRC Press. pp. 496–. ISBN 978-0-8247-9994-6.
  2. ^"Open Pit Surface Mine"Mine Engineer Community (2000) accessed 19 December 2011
  3. ^G.E. Blight; A.B. Fourie; G.R. Wardle (1 January 1999). Geotechnics for Developing Africa: Proceedings of the 12th regional conference for Africa on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, Durban, South Africa, 25–27 October 1999. CRC Press. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-90-5809-082-9.
  4. ^"Mining Waste"European Commission Environment (17 November 2011) accessed 19 December 2011
  5. ^Walter Geller; Helmut Klapper; Wim Salomons (6 December 2012). Acidic Mining Lakes: Acid Mine Drainage, Limnology and Reclamation. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-642-71954-7.
  6. ^Vasudevan Rajaram; Subijoy Dutta; Krishna Parameswaran (30 June 2005). Sustainable Mining Practices: A Global Perspective. CRC Press. pp. 207–. ISBN 978-1-4398-3423-7.
  7. ^"MINE REHABILITATION"Department of Mines and Petroleum (October 2006) accessed 19 December 2011
  8. ^"Mines2Cities"The Mines2Cities Project (April 2016) accessed 19 April 2016
  9. ^"Peak Hill Gold Mine"Major metallic mines, deposits & projects (2010) accessed 19 December 2011

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