Mining engineering refers to a specialised field of engineering where science and technology is applied to extract minerals from the earth. Mining engineers may be involved in any part of the mining process—from exploration of mineral resources and conducting feasibility studies, to designing mines, outlining plans, production, operations and even mine closure.
Mining areas are governed by strict laws to keep in check the levels of pollution and damage. And because the mineral extraction process might potentially cause some amount of pollution in the way of waste and other uneconomic materials generated, mining engineers must also attempt to reduce the environmental damage.
Mining engineers are also tasked with designing open-pit as well as underground mines. Their jobs also include supervising building of mine structures, devising techniques for transportation of mined minerals from the mines to processing plants and monitoring subsequent production with preparation of reports. They may also be expected to apply their expertise in the field towards addressing air and water pollution, sustainability issues and land reclamation projects.
There are so many interesting advancements in the field of mining engineering. Some of them include:
- Use of Digitisation in Mining: The incorporation of digital technology into modern mining is influencing the way mining happens now. The use of drones, 3D printing, Internet of Things and wearable technology in mining has enabled capturing real-time data unlocking the untapped potential of the mining process.
- Transforming Relationships with Stakeholders: Mining industries are involved in proactively fixing its dented reputation by adopting newer approaches which are increasingly environmentally friendly. Hence, these measures have eased improvement obstacles from the perspective of stakeholders like investors.
- Water Management: Mining industries are actively developing new technologies to reduce, reuse and recycle water and prevent spillage or contamination of wastewater. They are also addressing methods to monitor their water usage and improve the purity of water.
At a B.Tech level, mining engineering is a course that is taught in several prestigious Indian institutions and universities, such as NIT Surathkal, Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology and IIT Varanasi. Those aspiring to pursue a career in mining engineering should possess a strong background and understanding of concepts in mathematics and physics. They must have strong problem-solving abilities along with a creative thinking mentality. Those opting for a career in this field must have good people skills and organisational skills along with a sound knowledge and understanding of structures and environmental applications as well as a bit of the business.
Some firms that hire mining engineers
The Indian Bureau of Mines | Geological Survey of India | IPCL | Neyvelli Lignite Corporation | Essel Mining & Industries Ltd. | Hindustan Zinc Limited | Adani Mining Pvt. Ltd. | Arcelor Mittal | Bharat Forge Limited | Cairn Energy | Coal India Ltd. | Damodar Valley Corporation | DRDO
A graduate of mining engineering has several options. Some of them being: Mining Engineer – Granite, Mining Engineering Technicians, Deputy Chief Mechanical – Metals & Mining, Assistant Mining Engineer, Mining Engineer, Mine Planner, Technical Consultant- Mining Industries.