Open pit mining: what is it?

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Open pit mining involves digging a pit to access minerals and materials near the surface. It requires less capital and labor than underground mining, and profitability depends on the extraction ratio. The process is simple, but profitability decreases as surface materials are depleted.

Just as the name suggests, open pit mining is a type of mining operation that involves digging an open pit as a means of gaining access to a desired material. This is a type of surface mining that involves the extraction of minerals and other materials that are conveniently located near the surface of the mining site. It differs from other types of mining processes which may require the excavation of underground tunnels a great distance from the surface to reach the material. One of the advantages of the open pit mining system is the fact that it does not require as much capital or labor as the underground method of extracting minerals or precious metals and stones.

The open pit mining process is accelerated by analyzing the area in order to determine the presence of the desired material which can be coal or ore. If it is determined that the desired materials are present in the area, the next step would be to calculate the extraction ratio of the mining process, meaning that even though ore, coal or another desired material may be present, the profitability of the business extraction has to be ascertained. This can be done by calculating how much of the surface material clogging the chosen ore needs to be displaced to reach the desired material. Typically, the less effort it takes to extract whatever material is found at the sites, the more profit the mining company can gain as a result of the reduced investment in material and labor. The extraction ratio in open pit mining matters because the profitability of that particular mining enterprise depends on the company’s ability to get more out of the mining process than it spends to gain access to the material.

Typically, opencast mining is all about simplicity, simply requiring you to move whatever material is covering the reservoir. This process can be sped up if the top material is made of easily maneuverable material, such as coarse sand, as opposed to rocks which may require more specialized equipment to break them down and move them from the site. After a while, the profitability of such mines will decrease as materials closer to the surface have been mined.

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