Types of Mining

Surface and Subsurface Mining

The Types of Mining and Their Differences

Surface mining is mining that takes place near the surface of the Earth. It can be damaging to surface ecosystems but it is safer than subsurface mining. Subsurface is much more dangerous it is very difficult to extract the materials desired.


Strip Mining

Strip mining is a kind of surface mining in which they carve out rock to extract layered minerals. The overlying material called overburden is where Strip Mining gets its name. The extraction process requires heavy equipment and explosives which are dangerous to both the environment and workers.


Open Pit

Another kind of surface mining, Open Pit Mining is a process that involves the cutting of the surface made for the purpose of extracting useful materials. It is destructive especially in tropical rain forests due to the clear cutting that takes place before mining begins.


Mountain Top Removal

The final type of Surface Mining, Mountain Top Removal is a type of coal mining that can be very destructive to the environment. Coal companies completely bulldoze the site desired, and destroy environments, then explosives are poured in, and exploded. This among other problems has damages fresh water for millions of Americans. An example is in Pike County Kentucky.


Slope Mining

A type of subsurface mining, slope mining is where coal is extracted relatively close to the surface, on an incline. This type of mining isn't very good for the environment. An example of this is the CONSOL Bailey Mine in Wind Ridge, Pennsylvania, USA Slope Mine


Drift Mining

A process in which the desired material is accessed through a hill or mountain in a horizontal manner. An example is The Ruby Tuesday Drift Mine in California.


Shaft Mining

Shaft mining includes the excavating materials and ore by moving shafts up and down. The enviornment is at risk with this mining as it is damaging to the enviornment. An example is Keane Canyon, Death Valley.



Fracking is the process of drilling and putting fluid into the ground to allow rock to release natural gas. The gas well requires 400 tanker trucks to carry water to and from the site. About 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per site. The liquid is then injected through a pipeline into the ground. The mixture causes shale rock to crack creating natural gas, put in a well. Methane and toxic chemicals contaminate groundwater, and it is still used for drinking water, and only some of the chemicals can be used, the rest are a waste. Fracking produces lots of natural gas, at the expense of the enviornment, health and safety. http://www.dangersoffracking.com/