What is mining?

What Does mining Mean

Mining is called the exploitation of mines : the deposits that allow the extraction and treatment of minerals . The concept can refer to the mining operations of a region, to all the industries of this type or to the workers who work in this field.

Mining is an activity that is part of the primary sector of the economy . Its essential task is to extract the minerals that are found in the subsoil or on the surface.
Depending on the kind of mineral, it is possible to differentiate between metallic mining (which works with materials such as gold , lead, copper and silver) and non-metallic mining (centered on granite, clay, marble, etc. ). Also, according to the type of exploitation, a difference is made between underground mining and open-pit mining .

Once obtained, the minerals are used in multiple fields: they can serve as construction material , as raw material for the manufacture of industrial products or as central elements of jewelry, for example.
It is important to bear in mind that, beyond the advances in technology that favor mining, mining is very old. Prehistoric man, in fact, already appealed to minerals to make weapons and tools.
Another relevant aspect regarding mining is its impact on the environment . The pollution of water and soil, deforestation and erosion are some of the usual effects of these practices: why governments should establish laws and controls to ensure the care of the planet.
It is public knowledge that mining is one of the most dangerous activities in the world. According to statistical studies by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mining and Industrial Workers, more than 12,000 miners die each year, 6,000 of them in China.
Mining risks are classified according to the type of impact and this gives us the following types: chemical, physical, biological, psychosocial and ergonomic . The most serious of the physical risks are traumatic injuries , ranging from minor accidents to fatalities.
The noise is another of the factors relevant in this context: deafness and mining will hand because of the noise pollution that cause the machines throughout the workday. Miners must also protect themselves from heat and humidity , which often cause fatal heat strokes.

Among the chemical risks, one of the most worrying is that of contracting the disease known as silicosis due to crystalline silica , a dust that can also cause expectoration, cough and dyspnea, later triggering pulmonary fibrosis and enhancing disorders such as kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Pulmonary fibrosis can also be contracted by exposure to coal dust , very present in mining, and the main cause of black lungs . The asbestos , on the other hand, is associated with many cases of pleural and mesoteioma cancer of the lung.
The concomitant agent called tubercle bacillus occurs in a high number of miners with silicosis, especially in Africa, where the risk of tuberculosis is very high in the case of HIV prevalence. This tops the biohazards, which also include the legionella agent , which appears in cooling towers.
Although mining is becoming more mechanized every day, there are still many processes that must be done manually and can lead to trauma from repetition and muscle overload. These are ergonomic risks, which particularly affect the shoulder area. With regard to psychosocial risks, it is about the consequences that this work can cause on an emotional level, which often lead to the abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs.

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