Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals, elements or other geological materials from the earth, usually from an orebody, lode, vein, seam or reef. These deposits are of economic interest to the miner. They include ores such as haematite that produces iron, and bauxite that produces aluminium. Mining also extracts coal, uranium, oil shale, precious gemstones and rare valuable metals, limestone, chalk, rock salt, potash, gravel and clay. In summary, mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes or created artificially in a laboratory or factory.
The mining of minerals has been a human activity since copper was smelted in simple fires over 6,000 years ago. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, and final rehabilitation of the land after the mine is closed.
Mining operations usually result in significant environmental impact, both during the operations and after the mine has closed. Hence, there are now stringent regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has long been a concern as well, and modern practices have significantly improved safety in mines.
Mining is a critical component of Australia’s economy of balance of trade. It produces a quarter of the world’s iron and almost a third of the world’s aluminium. In copper, gold, silver, iron, nickel, zinc, aluminium, uranium, diamonds, coal, natural gas, and aluminium, Australia is in the top few exporters in the world, mainly sending ore to China.
Mining is conducted throughout Australia, but it’s Western Australia’s Pilbara that has the largest mines where some of the world’s largest companies operate.
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.
Expertise in Action
Experts in mining must be conversant with the main important aspects:
- Economics – fluctuations and trends in world mineral prices and futures, the long term viability of mines with respect to operating costs and efficiency of extraction technology and remaining ores, the impact of foreign exchange volatility, the payment of resource rents, the costs of shipping, etc.
- Geological – the location and size of ore deposits
- Engineering – mining technology, extraction techniques, transport infrastructure to port facilities
- Environmental impact – monitoring effects of pollution and runoff to groundwater, deforestation, and erosion, species diversity, planning for rehabilitation
- Worker health and safety issues – regulations, automation, FIFO (fly-in, fly-out)
- Engagement with Aboriginal communities and title holders, government and media liaison
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Rio Tinto delivers first iron ore with ‘world’s largest robot’
It is Rio Tinto’s ambition to deliver the world’s first fully autonomous, long distance, heavy-haul rail network where driverless trains hauling 28,000 tonnes can transport ore to ports 280km away.
Mining - Safe Work Australia
The mining industry has made significant improvements in health and safety over the last decade, reducing the incidence rates of both fatalities and serious injuries. However, the industry still has one of the highest rates of fatalities of any industry, with about nine workers dying each year.
Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors  QLC 48
This case involved a major dispute in the Land Court of Queensland over the Carmichael Coal Mine proposed in the Galilee Basin of central Queensland and a subsequent judicial review challenge to the mine’s approval in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
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