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Management of Environmental Impacts by Alandra Kahl

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CHAPTER 4

Resource Extraction Issues

4.1 OPEN-PIT MINING

An open-pit mine is an extraction or cut made at the surface of the ground for the purpose of extracting ore from the Earth’s crust. The mine remains open at the surface for the duration of its life. Minerals that are commonly mined using this technique include copper, gold, iron, and aluminum (Mine-engineer 2012). In the extraction of ore from the mine, layers of rock are exposed; the ore separated from the nonvaluable or waste rock; and then the next layer of ore or waste rock is removed. These layers of rock are called benches and several may be in operation simultaneously within an open-pit mine (shown in Figure 4.1). (Basics of an open pit mine 2012).

Figure 4.1. Simple schematic ...

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