Mining & Metallurgy

Minerals are combined in ores with elements like sulphur, chlorine or oxygen to form sulphides, silicates, chlorides or oxides. Copper carbonates, for example, are bright green (malachite) or blue (azurite), or a strong red color (cuprite). They are clearly visible if exposed on the surface. Mining consists of extracting minerals and other materials selectively from the earth's crust, often in large quantities just so that small amounts of the desired product can be recovered. Four basic types of mining method currently exist.

1. Surface mines, or opencast exploitations. The vast majority of mines all over the world are of this type. 
2. Underground mines, accessed via galleries or tunnels. 
3. Drilled wells. 
4. Underwater mining or dredging.
Metallurgy is the art of extracting metals from ores, refining them, and preparing them for use. The process consists of altering the chemical nature of the minerals in order to separate the metal from its sulphuric compounds, oxides, silicates or carbonates.
 An increase in the pace and mechanization of warfare during the Renaissance led to greater consumption of iron. This, in turn, drove up the price of metal. Other economic activities, such as housing and construction, also enlarged the demand for metals and alloys (mixtures of two or more metals) such as lead, brass, copper, and tin

  • Mechanical metallurgy
  • Heat treatment of materials
  • Extractive metallurgy: hydro and pyro metallurgy
  • Surface mines, or opencast exploitations
  • Underwater mining or dredging

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