Types of Mining and Fracking

Nia Drayton- B3

Surface Mining

  • the removal of mineral resources from Earth's surface
  • Used when a layer of sedimentary rock is relatively closer to Earth's surface
  • safer than subsurface
  • costs less

Strip (Surface)

  • the removal of ores, or sedimentary rock deposits, in layers

Effects on the environment

  • trees and bushes are bulldozed
  • waste is dumped and washed in freshwater sources
  • no vegetation remains

Open Pit (Surface)

  • the removal of minerals from an open pit

Effects on the Environment

  • radioactive elements can be released when rocks are crushed

Mountain Top Removal (Surface)

  • the removal of minerals through the cutting of a mountainside and use of explosives

Effects on the environment

  • forests and landscape is destroyed
  • rivers and other drinking water sources are filled with waste and deemed contaminated
  • can cause floods

Subsurface Mining

  • the removal of mineral resources from the beneath Earth's surface
  • dangerous and difficult because of their location
  • extra safety measures have to be taken for miners

Slope (Subsurface)

  • conveyor belts help transport minerals to the Earth's surface
  • a mine is constructed based on the surrounding environment

Effects on the environment

  • erosion
  • sedimentation
  • severe landslides

Drift (Subsurface)

  • the removal of minerals from beneath Earth's surface through the opening of mountain or hill side

Effects on the environment

  • change in land patterns
  • soil erosion
  • loss of biodiversity

Shaft (Subsurface)

  • removal of minerals from Earth's interior where shafts (metal chutes) pushed into the ground.
  • specific shafts (deep) are used for mining while shallow shafts are used for civil engineering projects
  • mines are divided into multiple parts (lift for transportation of equipment, lift for transporting extracted ores, and emergency exit)
  • shafts are raised from bottom to the top

Effects on the environment

  • pollution
  • water can become acidic
  • use of mercury


What is it?

  • drilling of Earth's interior to extract oil and gas
  • water and sand is injected into shale rock with high pressure
  • the gas and steam from the rock rises into wells

Effects on the environment

  • wastes water
  • causes Earth tremors