If you are wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of subsurface mining, you are landing at the right spot. Here you can study each advantage and disadvantage of subsurface mining; one of the essential benefits of subsurface mining that it is safer and faster than other ways of mining. But it also consumes more time and money at the same time.
Before going through the advantages and disadvantages of subsurface mining deeply, it’s more important to consider what subsurface mining is.
Subsurface mining is the process of extracting fossil fuels or other compulsory metals or minerals beneath the ground. It is the most effective and well-recognized method of drawing out fossil fuels and metals like gold, lead, silver, iron, and diamonds. Further, it is also helpful for mining oil sands, coal, stones, gravel, and salt.
Types of subsurface mining
There are five types of subsurface mining, each different from the other in the case of minerals being extracted. Below, we’ll discuss all of them;
Strip Mining involves stripping the ground away from the metal or mineral that is being extracted. This type of subsurface mining is usually used for the mining of coal. Soil, stones, and other vegetation eliminate by the giant machines.
Further, this subsurface mining is practical when the metals are on the surface. But when minerals are too far, this type is unsuitable as it will probably damage the ground.
Open-pit mining is likely similar to Strip Mining, and the only difference is that metals are excavated from an Open-pit, which is not filled in. This type is also named quarries when they generate material used in building like granite, limestone, and marble.
These Open-pit mining continue to be enlarged, yet whole ore gets extracted. When nothing is left to operate, it’s usually altered to a waste disposal site. Further, an open pit mine is recommended for the extracted high number of ore. Plus, the mining process of ores occurs on huge grounds and near to the surface.
Mountain removal subsurface mine is arguable but perfect for extracting the massive amount of minerals, especially coal, from the top of mountains. In this process, extracted metals’ overburden (sand, rocks, and vegetation) get blasted with explosives.
This subsurface mine is used when the ores are 300-400 feet deeper after the blast of overburden the damaged mountain converter into valleys.
A dredging subsurface mine is highly effective for the extraction of gold. In this process, the miners with their pots during gold flow, floating dredges come up a water table. A scoop carries the gold up on a conveyor belt, and the mineral is drawn out on the board. Then unwanted material dropped back to the water table with another conveyor belt.
Highwall Type subsurface mine depends on the machinery to collect the fossil fuels from the High walls. Typically, highwalls seem at the edges of pit mines and quarries and allow miners to recover minerals from a wall that would otherwise be too costly to eliminate overburden for approaching the mineral. It is also deployed to recover extras ores from the minerals layered above the created surface.
Advantages and disadvantages of subsurface mining
After knowing about sub surface mining and its types, you can now understand the advantages and disadvantages of subsurface more efficiently. So, let’s dive in!
Advantages of subsurface mining
Extraction of natural resources
The subsurface mines process is the best mining method ever that extracts natural resources, including metals and ores beneath the gourd. It proves helpful for retrieving metals like gold, diamond, iron, silver, and more. Further, it also extracts sand oil, coal, stones, and sand from the terrain.
The safest method for mining minerals
Subsurface mines are the comparatively safest and most effective way to mine metals from the gourd. Further, the whole mining process requires only fewer digging pipes and electrics. In this way, it is cost-effective too.
Economic and financial benefits
Every mining method comes with vast economic and financial benefits. But the variation is subsurface mines massive amounts of minerals from open and broad areas. So, subsurface mining can prove economically beneficial for any country and state.
Effective for a larger area
Subsurface mining is the only mining process that is perfect and profitable for the large open area. Its open-pit type is usually processed on vast terrains to extract large amounts of minerals. So, subsurface mining comes with numerous perks.
Disadvantages of subsurface mining
The damaging impact of Subsurface mining on the environment
Subsurface mining damages the environment and has long-term effects on the excavated terrain. After some years of subsurface mining, excavated areas experience landslides, mountain mines, and flooding. Unfortunately, the high falls also confront drainage, water pollution, erosion, and other significant changes.
Impacting the water quality
Water is essential for our lives, but subsurface mine its quality. It not only causes air pollution but also rapidly impacts water quality. It pollutes streams and other water supplies that turn the watercolor into red or orange by different contamination. In this way, mining process is also dangerous for water life.
Harmful to the land resources
Subsurface mines have harmful impacts on the atmosphere as it is damaging the land soil. Various sub-surface mine has adverse effects on natural soil that is crucial for the production of food. Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that are important to enhance soil fertility get killed by this subsurface mining process. So, it impacts the growth of plants and vegetables by changing soil strength.
Subsurface mining impacts human lives
As the atmosphere got damaged as well, human life was threatened. Subsurface mining increases the risk of skin diseases, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases. This polluted exposure level is higher in mountainy areas as mountaintop removal occurs. So, the risk of infections is more elevated in residential or rocky areas.
Apart from humans, subsurface mines harm wildlife. Untamed wildlife is seriously in trouble because of Strip Mining. We should take extraordinary measures to decrease the impacts of mining as it’s destroying our natural lives.
Subsurface mining is the best and comparatively budget-friendly way to mine coals and other minerals. But at the same time, these mining processes show long-term damaging impacts on our environments. We should take steps to lessen the disadvantages of subsurface mining; otherwise, it will ultimately damage our atmosphere.