Dr. SaMeH S. Ahmed

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Mining method-2

Mine development and lifecyce

The process of mining from discovery of an ore body through extraction of minerals and finally to returning the land to its natural state consists of several distinct steps. The first is discovery of the ore body, which is carried out through prospecting or exploration to find and then define the extent, location and value of the ore body. This leads to a mathematical resource estimation to estimate the size and grade of the deposit.

This estimation is used to conduct a pre-feasibility study to determine the theoretical economics of the ore deposit. This identifies, early on, whether further investment in estimation and engineering studies is warranted and identifies key risks and areas for further work. The next step is to conduct afeasibility study to evaluate the financial viability, the technical and financial risks, and the robustness of the project.

This is when the mining company makes the decision whether to develop the mine or to walk away from the project. This includes mine planning to evaluate the economically recoverable portion of the deposit, the metallurgy and ore recoverability, marketability and payability of the ore concentrates, engineering concerns, milling and infrastructure costs, finance and equity requirements, and an analysis of the proposed mine from the initial excavation all the way through to reclamation. The proportion of a deposit that is economically recoverable is dependent on the enrichment factor of the ore in the area.

To gain access to the mineral deposit within an area it is often necessary to mine through or remove waste material which is not of immediate interest to the miner. The total movement of ore and waste constitutes the mining process. Often more waste than ore is mined during the life of a mine, depending on the nature and location of the ore body. Waste removal and placement is a major cost to the mining operator, so a detailed characterization of the waste material forms an essential part of the geological exploration program for a mining operation.

Once the analysis determines a given ore body is worth recovering, development begins to create access to the ore body. The mine buildings and processing plants are built, and any necessary equipment is obtained. The operation of the mine to recover the ore begins and continues as long as the company operating the mine finds it economical to do so. Once all the ore that the mine can produce profitably is recovered, reclamation begins to make the land used by the mine suitable for future use.

Mining technique

Underground longwall mining.

Mining techniques can be divided into two common excavation types: surface mining and sub-surface (underground) mining. Today, surface mining is much more common, and produces, for example, 85% of minerals (excluding petroleum and natural gas) in the United States, including 98% of metallic ores.[26]

Targets are divided into two general categories of materials: placer deposits, consisting of valuable minerals contained within river gravels, beach sands, and other unconsolidated materials; and lode deposits, where valuable minerals are found in veins, in layers, or in mineral grains generally distributed throughout a mass of actual rock. Both types of ore deposit, placer or lode, are mined by both surface and underground methods.

Some mining, including much of the rare earth elements and uranium mining, is done by less-common methods, such as in-situ leaching: this technique involves digging neither at the surface nor underground. The extraction of target minerals by this technique requires that they be soluble, e.g., potash, potassium chloride, sodium chloride,sodium sulfate, which dissolve in water. Some minerals, such as copper minerals and uranium oxide, require acid or carbonate solutions to dissolve

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For CE 370 students : Your second midterm exam will be on Wednesday 27 March 2019. In the surveying lab

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Mining Engineering


Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves practice, theory, science, technology, and the application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.

Environmental Engineering


Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for    environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land. And, they develop new and improved means to protect the environment.

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King Saud University, KSA

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Course 2018/19-2


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  3. Senior Design II  (round 6) CE 499




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Member of the Editorial Board: " Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Sciences"  2013 till now

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Participating in The Third International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment,(ICWEE) 2019 - American University of Sharjah, UAE 26-28 March 2019 with a Paper and Poster

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2nd Midterm Exams on 3/4/2019

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CE 370 Course

Surveying I

2018-2019S




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CE 371 Course

Surveying II

2018-2019-2




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CE 474 Course

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2018-2019-1



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Second Best paper from Senior Design Projects in 2015

Paper title:

Evaluation of Groundwater Quality Parameters using Multivariate Statistics- a case Study of Majmaah, KSA

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Abdullah A. Alzeer

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Maijd M. Almotairi

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Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
College of Engineering, Majmaah University
Majmaah, P.O. 66, 11952, KSA

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