Encyclopedia > Mining

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Mining is the extraction of valuable materials from a naturally available source.

Common materials extracted are:

bauxite (for aluminum)
iron (from the ores haematite and limonite),

Techniques include:

Bioleaching is the application of naturally available bacteria to extract metals from their ore.

The first mining operation on Earth may have been the turquoise mine operated by the ancient Egyptians at Wady Maghareh on the Sinai Peninsula. Turquoise was also mined in pre-Columbian America in the Cerillos Mining District in New Mexico where a mass of rock 200 feet in depth and 300 feet in width was removed with stone tools; the mine dump covers 20 acres.

Further reading

  • Hardrock Gold: A Miner's Tale, Tom Morrison, illustrated by Cherry Hunter, University of Oklahoma Press, 1992, hardcover, ISBN 0806124423

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