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Mining and Geography

  • By: Jeffrey Bury
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Mining is defined as the extraction and concentration of metallic and nonmetallic minerals for use in a variety of human activities. As a distinctively human pursuit, the extraction and use of resources from the surface of the Earth is essential for most industrial production and the provision of a wide variety of materials. Geographers have long examined mining activities, primarily by focusing on the distribution of resources, the expansion of mining activities, the development of technologies to extract elements from the Earth, and the environmental and social impacts of mining operations.

The Mining frontier

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 70 chemical elements and dozens of minerals are currently mined from more than 100 different types of deposits. According to the Raw Materials Group, in ...

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