When people hear about the mining industry, the first thing that comes into their mind is, yes, you’ve guessed it—gold and diamonds. Well, you’re not wrong, but it isn’t simply limited there. Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals, and other useful geological materials from the earth that our world uses for different applications. It’s a profession that has helped and given work to countless countries for hundreds of years. The mining industry has a rich history, and there are a lot of aspects about the mining industry you might not yet be familiar with.
Here are 10 surprising trivia about the mining industry:
1. Mining has been proven to have occurred as far back as 4000 B.C.
2. The oldest mine in the world, “Lion’s Cave” is located in Swaziland. By using radiocarbon dating, they were able to find the age of this iron oxide mine—43,000 years old.
Gold mine to expand in Nubian Desert. Source: Blogspot
3. The gold mines of Nubia were not just the largest in ancient Egypt, it was also the most extensive.
4. The Romans were the ones to develop mining on a larger scale. They devised methods such as hydraulic mining and hushing.
5. The first record of the usage of black powder for mining was in the year 1627, in what is now Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia. Back then, the location was called Selmecbánya, Kingdom of Hungary.
6. The first academy for mining was established in in Selmecbánya, Kingdom of Hungary in 1762.
3-ton copper nugget found in Lake Superior. (Source: Frontiers of Anthropology)
7. Along the Lake Superior are, there are several early copper mines that are estimated to be around 5000 years old.
8. Did you know that Spanish gold was not necessarily from Spain? There was a great deal of gold and silver that came from the colonial Americas and then was brought to Spain.
9. The most commonly used form of excavation type in mining today is surface mining.
Bingham Canyon Mine. Source: Wikimedia
10. The Bingham Canyon Mine located in Utah is the largest man-made excavation in the world. Its pit is greater than 0.75 mile in depth and it is 2.5 miles in width. It was turned into a National Landmark in 1966.