According to some accounts, the past few months have seen some disruption in the global mining industry. At the end of April, The Conversation reported that “Mines remain open in some countries. But in others, such as Peru, mining operations are severely restricted as part of government efforts to control the pandemic. Viral outbreaks at specific mine sites in other locations have also caused those operations to be closed.” This may have caused confusion for some operators. In fact, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) provided an information sheet regarding practices for operators and miners in response to their “high volume of questions regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19.”
For those experiencing down time, now may be the best time to catch up on industry educational material. Actually, we’ve seen a 20% increase in views of this blog during 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019. What subjects are popular among our miners, geologists, and other readers? Mining Equipment, Cement, Gold, Lithium, and Ambient Air are the the top 5 topics over the past 5 months. And it doesn’t matter when they were written. Some of our dated articles are still getting the best views; and the information is just as timely today as it was when they were first written. If you were not one of the tens of thousands of people who have already read these articles, here’s your chance to read them in one fell swoop. Enjoy.
- The Cement Manufacturing Process
- Cement manufacturing is a complex process that begins with mining and then grinding raw materials that include limestone and clay, to a fine powder, called raw meal, which is then heated to a sintering temperature as high as 1450 °C in a cement kiln. Read about the several laboratory and online systems that can be employed to ensure process control from mining of raw materials to production of quality products.
- New to the Mining Industry? Make Sure You Know the Most Common Types of Mining Equipment
- The most common types of mining equipment vary depending whether the work is being carried out above or below ground or mining for gold, metals, coal or crude oil. From drilling machines to excavators, crushing and grinding equipment – the mining industry comes complete with all the right tools. New to the job and want to find out what it all means? Here are a few of the industry’s most common types of equipment and why they’re important for the job.
- Pyrite: The Real Story Behind “Fool’s Gold”
- Pyrite is called “Fool’s Gold” because it resembles gold to the untrained eye. While pyrite has a brass-yellow color and metallic luster similar to gold, pyrite is brittle and will break rather than bend as gold does. Gold leaves a yellow streak, while pyrite’s streak is brownish black. Pyrite is found in a wide variety of geological settings, from igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock to hydrothermal mineral deposits, as well as in coal beds and as a replacement mineral in fossils. Read how it is used, and how one can tell the difference between real gold and Fool’s Gold.
- Lithium Still a Valued Source, Encouraging Old Mines to Re-Open (update to an older article)
- Until recently, the only lithium production in the United States was from a brine operation in Nevada. Lithium is a common but poorly concentrated mineral, so it is difficult to obtain. About half of the world’s supply of lithium is produced by the evaporation of highly concentrated lithium brine, a relatively simple but time consuming method. Read about how mining companies are focusing on finding lithium in concentrated areas so it can be mined economically.
- What Is Ambient Air?
- Air quality is an important issue, especially in highly regulated industries such as coal mining, cement processing, and coal‐ and oil‐fired power generation. Rules such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards are designed to protect the public and keep ambient air pollution-free. Learn about ambient air pollution and how to monitor it.
These are just a few of the top articles. Feel free to read (and comment on) as many as you want, and make sure you subscribe to get the latest articles delivered to you each week… even when mining operations get back to ‘normal.’