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Mining is the removal or extraction of rocks, minerals, ores, gemstones, or other geological materials from the earth, typically from an ore body, seam, or vein. Mined materials include diamond, iron, tin, bauxite (aluminum), precious metals (gold, platinum, silver), lead, nickel, and rocks like coal, limestone, marble, salt, and uranium. Mining can also include the extraction of petroleum, natural gas, and water.

The earliest known mine operated 43,000 years ago in Swaziland, Africa, where iron ore (hematite) was removed and ground into a red pigment called ochre. Other early operations mined turquoise in ancient Egypt and in pre-Columbian America in Cerrillos, New Mexico. The first mining operation to use gunpowder was in Slovakia in 1627.

Surface Mining

Mining techniques can be divided into two basic extraction types: surface ...

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