How Underground Mining Works

It’s quite likely that you have heard many stories about mining through the years and how it was such a back-breaking, dangerous, and dirty job. But have you ever stopped to think about how mining actually works? There are many different types of mines, but they all operate in basically the same way – using large machines to excavate rocks and minerals from deep within the earth.

Mining today takes on many forms:

Room and Pillar: In this type of mining, rooms are cut into the rock, and pillars are left to support the roof. This method is often used in coal mines.

Cut and Fill: In this type of mining, tunnels are dug and then filled with waste material. This method is often used in gold mines.

Block Caving: In this type of mining, large blocks of rock are caved in, causing them to break up into smaller pieces. This method is often used in copper mines.

Longwall mining: In this type of mining, a continuous mining machine cuts coal from the face of the coal seam and loads it onto a conveyor belt. This method is often used in capturing materials highly efficiently in underground mines.

There are numerous dangers to underground mining as well, such as roof collapse, gas explosions, and cave-ins. But with modern technology and safety precautions, these dangers can be minimized. Modern mining involves the use of heavy automation as well as remotely-controlled machines to reduce the risks to miners.

So the next time you hear about mining, remember that it’s not just a dirty and dangerous job – it’s also an essential one. Without mining, we wouldn’t have the many modern conveniences that we enjoy today.

Mining has been an essential part of human history since the days of ancient civilizations. It has provided us with many of the materials that we use today: coal for energy, iron for steel, and copper for electrical wiring, to name just a few. It is truly essential to our way of life.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of mine electrical systems. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.