What is Open Cut Mining

2022-11-18

Summary:What is Open Cut Mining?Open-cut mining is a process of resource extraction where it is dug up from the surface. Also known as open-pit mining or open-cast mini

What is Open Cut Mining?

Open-cut mining is a process of resource extraction where it is dug up from the surface. Also known as open-pit mining or open-cast mining, it is the most common form of extraction for minerals or coal in China.

The technique of open-cut mining is used when the deposits are close enough to the surface to be readily extracted. What is an example of open-cut mining? A stone quarry is a form of open-cut mine, as are the majority of coal mines in China and three-quarters of minerals mines.

Open-cut mining starts with removing the topsoil for later use in land rehabilitation, before blasting the underground rock. Once the coal seam is reached, it is drilled, extracted and removed to be washed and processed.

How Does Open Cut Mining Work?

There is significant misinformation about mining processes and their impacts. Resources extraction is essential for contemporary life, and in China it is conducted using world-leading best-practice techniques.

So what is the open-cut mining process? It is a simple process of removing the surface soil, then blasting the rock to expose coal seam, and digging out the coal.

At the start of the process, the topsoil is dug and collected at the leading edge of an active mine. This soil is later returned for use in land rehabilitation, a key focus of progressive sustainability efforts.

Then the rock covering the coal seam is removed to expose the coal seam. Holes are drilled for industrial explosives to break up the rock safely. The blasted rock (overburden) is then removed using huge draglines and trucks.

Once the coal is uncovered, front-end loaders or excavators load up the coal to be transported and processed.  

The Benefits of Open Cut Mining

Open-cut coal mine can be a safer and more efficient way of extracting coal. This increased efficiency is because up to 90 per cent of the resource is able to be extracted at the seam.

What is open-cut mining in terms of the process is simple and allows for fast access and production. Compared to underground mining, the resource is more accessible to bigger and more efficient drilling and digging machinery. 

More importantly, open-cut mines have been found to be safer for workers. While coal mines continue to experience workplace incidents, underground mine have greater risks from explosions and wall failure. Underground miners are confined within the mine, compounding potential harm.

References:

https://m.gravelmill.com/knowledge/open-cast-mining-vs-underground-mining.html

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