Mines are where very important and sought after minerals are extracted from. These tresured minerals include copper, coal, iron, lead, and many other geological materials that can be found from the earth. Mines can be underground or subterranean, or may be found at the surface. As long as a land area can be seen as an area where a mineral can be extracted from, it is considered a mine.
There are many different materials that can be found from mining areas. Precious metals and base metals are both in their ore forms are just some of the materials that can be taken from mines. Other materials, such as rock salt, uranium, coal, limestone, potash, and diamond, may also be extracted from mining processes. As long as a material cannot be produced using processes of agriculture, or if a material cannot be produced in artificial form inside factories or laboratories, these materials most likely came from mines.
Some of the mines today are copper mines, coal mines, lead mines and iron mines. Iron and copper mines are the leading industry all over the world because of the demand for such metals in the field of construction. Coal mines are usually for gathering of fuel and energy, while lead mines are there to supply the needs for stable heavy metals. Other mines, like diamond mines, are there for more aesthetic reasons. Diamonds are a precious commodity in the world of fashion and jewelry, and as a precious mineral, diamonds are quite expensive. Many diamond mines are found in Africa, where some conflicts have actually risen due to the mining of diamonds.
Coal mining, or the extraction or the act of removing coal from mines, is one of the largest industries in the entire world for the past number of decades. Back in the days when coal was used as fuel for the generation of power and electricity, it was called thermal coal or steaming coal. There is also coking coal, sometimes referred to as metallurgical coal, which is coal that is used for coke for steel manufacturing.
A Colliery is what people in the United States, South Africa, and United Kingdom call a coal mine with its other support structures. This term is also used in Australia, but were only used to refer to coal mines that operate underground.
Coal mining was very much a vital industry during the early 1700s in colonial America. The first commercial coal miners that were found in the United States were in Midlothian, Virginia around 1730. the area is found near Richmond, Virginia. A breakthrough in the coal mining industry came in the 1880s, when people developed coal-cutting machines, as before then coal was only able to be mined from underground sources with a miner's own hands with the help of a shovel and pick.