Mining Engineering

The demand for minerals will continue to grow as the world’s population doubles over the next 40 years. Mineral development and production must be managed in a responsible manner if we are to obtain these minerals without great damage to our environment. Highly trained engineers and scientists are needed by the minerals industry now and in the future. Mining applies many different branches of science and engineering to understand how minerals can be extracted from the earth.

Mining engineers are primarily responsible for the safe and economic production of the Earth’s minerals. They work with metal ores, diamonds, coal, oil and industrial minerals such as clays, granites and limestone. Many mines involve deep underground excavations with high temperatures and very large stresses in the rock. Others involve surface working in quarries, open pits and strip mines.

Mining engineers often manage teams of engineers and others from many different disciplines. Because of this, mining engineering degrees are very wide ranging and ideal for careers in engineering management.

Mining engineers must be able to understand the nature of the rocks with which they work. They apply sound engineering principles to design safe and economic methods of extraction.

Knowledge of geology, engineering, rock mechanics, economics, surveying and management is necessary for anyone involved in the design and management of mines.

Recycling and reclamation are of growing international importance within the mining industry. Improvements in extraction technology now allow the treatment of secondary sources, such as the waste from previously mined deposits, industrial and domestic waste and contaminated land. In many cases it is possible to develop processes which allow a range of materials, including metals, plastics and glass, to be recovered from waste streams offering the potential for increased recycling.