Types of Mining and Fracking

Maria Valovaya

Types of Mining and Fracking

Surface mining, including strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining, is a broad category of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit (the overburden) are removed.

Sub-surface mining consists of digging tunnels or shafts into the earth to reach buried ore deposits. Ore, for processing, and waste rock, for disposal, are brought to the surface through the tunnels and shafts.

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Surface mining


Strip mining is a type of surface mining that involves excavating earth, rock, and other material to uncover a tabular, lens-shaped, or layered mineral reserve.

Open Pit

Open-pit or open-cast mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or mineralsfrom the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow.

Mountain top removal

Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining that involves the mining of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain. Coal seams are extracted from a mountain by removing the land, or overburden, above the seams.


Slope is a method of accessing valuable geological material, such as coal or ore. A sloping access shaft travels downwards towards desired material. Slope mines differ from shaft and drift mines, which access resources by tunneling straight down or horizontally, respectively. In slope mining, the primary access to the mine is on an incline.

Drift mining is a method of subsurface mining or underground mining that involves cutting an opening horizontally into the side of a mountain or hillside to access a mineral seam. The result is the creation of a drift, a tunnel dug and driven directly along a horizontal path to the seam.

Shaft mining or shaft sinking refers to the method of excavating a vertical or near-vertical tunnel from the top down, where there is initially no access to the bottom.

Surface Stript

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Surface Open Pit

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Surface Mountain Top Removal

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Subsurface slope

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Subsurface shaft

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