A Complete Guide for Subsurface Mining Methods


Are you planning to start a mining business? If you do not know enough about mining, it is better to acquire some information about it. This article serves as your ultimate guide on subsurface mining methods. Subsurface mining is risky, and one needs to be aware of all the extremities. Read until the end to ensure you know everything before you start your mining business and run it successfully.

Introduction to subsurface mining

Before we discuss the subsurface mining methods, let us briefly explain what is subsurface mining. Subsurface means “under the surface.” Hence, unlike surface mining, we perform this mining under the Earth’s surface in subsurface mines. Subsurface mining methods involve continuously exporting minerals to the surface by making new shafts or underground tunnels. Most subsurface mine companies use this type of mining in non-coal metal and coal mines.

Subsurface mining methods

After understanding the subsurface mining definition, let’s discuss the subsurface mining methods. Following are some commonly used underground mining methods for our readers.

1. Strip mining

The first one among underground mining types on our list is Strip mining. This method involves mining the minerals by removing the soil and rock. In a nutshell, this subsurface mining method removes unnecessary material from the minerals. This mining method is most common for mining coal and lignite. There are further two types of strip mining;

  • Area Striping
  • Contour Mining

In the subsurface mining methods, area mining is used. However, contour mining is done over hilly areas.

2. Open pit mining

Open pit mining is another useful subsurface mining method. This technique is most commonly used to extract rocks and minerals. It is the best subsurface mining method for the extraction of minerals. This method is a little similar to strip mining.

3. Dredging

The third subsurface mining method on our list is dredging. This method is primarily used to mine gold. Miners carry out small dredges which perform all the subsurface mining methods. A conveyer belt is a vital part of this process. Huge scoop digging regularly utilize a;

  • A vessel similar to a canal boat
  • Coasting dig
  • Transport line

This technique is very useful in mining in rock-filled valleys with water tables. The gliding dig method can help manage the residue efficiently.

4. Mountain top removal

The fourth method on our list of subsurface mining methods is Mountain top removal. This technique is used in mountain areas for extracting minerals. The first step of this mining technique is to remove the mountain top. Miners use explosives to break down the rock layers. The explosives help remove the mountain top and provide an entry point for miners. The mountain top removal mining method helps to extract coal which is present at 400 feet underground.

5. High wall subsurface mining

High wall subsurface mining methods extract minerals across the adjacent coal areas. This process is very useful in removing all the overburden of the coal seam.

6. Open field mining method

Technical measures of this type are subsurface mining methods applied in underground mines. To:

  • Cope with the empty field conformation of the Goaf area
  • Permanently maintaining or maintaining the pillars and hollow supports
  • Carry out the reinforcement treatment of the Goaf

Miners should use specific technical parameters according to the real situation. Particularly in developing tunnel walls in underground mining areas, it is necessary to conduct scientific analysis and sampling processing through comprehensive analyses to improve the quality and quantity of mining. Open field extraction techniques include gradual, full, and row extraction methods.


7. Remaining ore mining method

The extraction method for the preservation of the mineral involves the accumulation and collection of mineral minerals extracted mainly in the subsoil. Mineral reserve extraction techniques are mainly applied in mining areas where stable minerals are extracted. By undermining the body of the mineral due to the manual effect, the effect of the rough rains collected in the long term can be obtained. In the future, you can also use the extraction activities of the secondary surface.

To achieve practical mining of mineral bodies using ore reservoir technology, ore mining, ore piles, and mineral pillars in reservoirs must be filled with ore. In practice, the application of this method places greater demands on the environment to obtain the effect of improving the quality of the surrounding rock.

Subsurface mining Pros and Cons

There are many advantages to using subsurface mining methods however there are also some downsides to these techniques;


  • It stands as arguably the best method to mine minerals
  • Most of the minerals are extracted using this technique
  • It is relatively the safest mining method
  • It is the best option for larger working areas


  • The subsurface mining methods are not good for nature
  • The lands stay unclaimed after subsurface mining is performed over that
  • These can also cause land sliding and floods
  • There is an increased risk of drainage, erosion, and water pollution
  • Subsurface methods can cause damage to the adjacent crops
  • The fertility of the land is also affected by subsurface mining methods
  • The quality of the water in the area is affected because of the seepage of harmful minerals
  • Wildlife in the area is also harmed as a result of the utilization of subsurface mining methods

Subsurface vs. Surface Mining

If you are thinking about choosing one mining method, it could get a little confusing. Surface mining has its uses and advantages. However, it truly depends on the area and nature of minerals. Surface mining is mostly used to extract minerals from the surface, where they are covered and burdened with soil. However, subsurface mining extracts minerals that reside underground.


Subsurface mining methods are getting very advanced and useful for the extraction of underground minerals. However, it is best to research your mining area and minerals properly. Depending upon the experts’ opinion, you should select a subsurface mining method that suits your mining conditions. We would also recommend you use the best equipment you can get. You should never compromise on safety standards in the mining business.

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