Mining companies make money
from the rocks and
minerals that they dig up. This means that
the mining companies will only dig up rocks and minerals that
they can make money from. There are a lot of things that cost
money in mining. Some of these are: pay for the miners and
other people who work at the mine, buying or renting
machinery, electricity, and insurance. The mine owners figure
How long it will take to
get the rocks, minerals, or gemstones out of the ground
because every day costs them money.
How much of the rock,
mineral, or gemstone is actually going to be found because
it might not bring in enough money to cover the costs.
How much money people are
paying for the rock, mineral, or gemstone.
How much everything will
cost subtracted from what it can be sold for.
Mining is a business. Mining companies won't mine for
minerals, gemstones, or rocks if they won't make a profit from
it. For example, when we
visited the coal mine, we were
told that there is lots of coal left in the mine. We
wondered why it closed down if there was still coal left in it. The tour guide told us that it cost a huge amount
of money to pump the water out of the mine each day AND they
started to have problems getting rid of the water. New
environmental laws stopped them from pumping the mine water into
a nearby river because the water had toxic chemicals in it.
So, even though there was more coal that could have been mined,
it would have cost more money to get it out than they would have
made when they sold it.
When we began to study mining, we thought there was one
kind. We thought that miners dug a hole in the ground and
just kept making it deeper. That is not the way it is at
all. There are two kinds of mining:
and underground mining. Mining companies decide which one
to use when they figure out where the mineral is. This
means that if the mineral is only a few feet underground, they
will use surface mining. If it is deep inside the Earth, they
will use underground mining. The cheapest and safest kind
of mining is surface mining. Underground mining costs more
If it takes
longer to get the minerals out, the miners will work
longer hours. This means that mine owners will have to
pay more money to the miners.
There are more
equipment costs because they are mining underground but
need equipment on the surface to process it.
costs like pumping, air ventilation, and electricity
that are needed underground. Surface mining doesn't need those