Free Architecture – The Essence Of Mining Engineering Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Mine, Mining, Environment, Underground, Safety, Engineer, Equipment, Sociology

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/11/17

The essence of the profession of mining engineering is in designing and securing safe and effective functionality of mines (Bise, 2003). In this regard, the specialist in this field ensures that mines sites including their underground and surface sites are functioning as they should according to the posed standards of security norms and productivity objectives. In this regard, mining engineer should also understand the impact of the built structures on the surrounding environment and thus know how factors of the particular environment of the site can change and influence the site in return (Darling, 2011). He also should have technical knowledge of mining constructions ad technologies and relevant managerial skills to manage required operational activities.
Unlike most professions, where specialists are involved only at a certain stage of the entire production or living cycle of the project, mining engineers take part on all stages of a project cycle (Hartman and Mutmansky, 2002). Before the actual site is established, they test the viability and assist in planning the structure of the mine. On the stage o full-bodied functioning, they oversee over production operations and day-to-day activities of the mine. At the final stage of mine closure, they are responsible for the safety and evaluation of outcomes of mine closure together with the process of the rehabilitation of the area (Darling, 2011). In terms of these main functions, mining engineer has various smaller tasks to fulfil. In this regard, tasks include designing and modelling new mining sites, evaluation of their commercial viability, developing plans of mines levels, tunnels and shafts for the underground part and location of the facilities on the ground.
Other tasks include such activities as monitoring construction and repair activities, making sure they are done correctly and according to the required standards, paying attention to staff activities on a site or underground. In terms of safety, the main role of mining engineer to check and make sure that all mining equipment is functioning and its quality corresponds to health and safety norms and prescriptions (Darling, 2011). Mining engineers also needs to secure that an effective system of extraction is established and functions accordingly. He is also responsible for the development of transitional projects regarding the shift from surface to underground extraction techniques. In terms of disposing of disused mines, they are responsible for filling in mine tunnels and shafts (Collis, 2003).
In terms of the location where the conduct of the professional duties of mine engineer occurs is not a single site. Thus, the place of work constantly changes. The engineer can be employed with one company and travel from one site to another being in one place as long as the site is functioning. On the other hand, mine engineers can be freelancers and work on a contractual basis around the world. In any case, they stay in one place depending on the living cycle of a certain site they are working on (Bise, 2003). In USA, 59 per cent of mining engineers live outside their home state (Darling, 2011). Thus, mine engineer can do his job almost anywhere in the world where there are mines or places where they need to be developed and established. Consequently, mine engineer would benefit from the knowledge of world geology and cultural specifics of local labour and construction laws.
Regarding the ideal “setting” for this profession, the perfect location would be a mine that engineer has designed himself which would correspond to all posed objectives of this particular mining site. In other words, the ideal working setting would be mine site with the underground part where all tunnels and mining shafts correspond to the comfortable size of human being and do not violate standards of health and safety (Collis, 2003). In this regard, the tunnels would be wide and high enough for miners working there without additional discomfort of bending and not being able to stand in the full height (Darling, 2011). The ideal setting would make miners presence underground as efficient, safe and comfortable as it is practically possible. Another aspect of the ideal working setting would be functional equipment that would use the most advanced contemporary applications and software. In other words, the perfect setting would be the one that would make working in that setting safe and productive. In order to build such ideal setting, diverse criteria of specific user benefits design need to be taken into account. Their analysis is outlined below.
In terms of behavioural facilitation, attention needs to be paid to functional and special conformances. Regarding functional conformance, it is essential to make sure that all elements assisting the conduct of work are presented. In this regard, for miners to fulfil their duties effectively, they will need a proper transportation system to get not the mine and back safely and relatively fast. Unlike in the old mines, a system of elevator between the main levels would be of an immense importance. It would be better to keep it simple and make sure it is easily accessible and easy to use (Collis, 2003). Then, there needs to be lighting in all of the parts of the mine. Although the level of lighting might not be far from ideal, it should at least correspond to the standards and provide miners with ability to distinguish as many details as possible (Hartman and Mutmansky, 2002). Onwards, the communication line between different levels of mine and the central office on the ground needs to be established to secure constant exchange of information and relevant guidance.
Regarding, special conformance, it can be argued that in the mine the availability of space is always scarce yet it is crucial to miners’ functionality and effective performance. In this regard, the design of tunnels and main sights should take into account the average height and size of men with equipment (Darling, 2011). In this regard, the size of tunnels and shafts need to be special enough to allow at least 3-4 men to carry equipment and still have some free space around them for extra manoeuvres (Bise, 2003). The extra space is also essential in case some repairing works are to be conducted and extra equipment is required. In this regard, it is essential to evaluate parameters of the potentially required equipment in a particular tunnel or shaft before it will be needed in practice (Hustrulid, and Kuchta, 2006). The spatial tunnels also give the opportunity for miners to escape the underground site in the case of emergency.
Regarding the physiological maintenance, two aspects need to be taken into account: climate conformance and hazard regulation. In terms of climate conformance, the environment of mines is hard to call a comfortable one. However, the installation of ventilation systems are aimed to ease miners’ work in the shafts and make sure they can breathe freely according to the health and safety requirements (Hartman and Mutmansky, 2002). Regarding the level of temperature and humidity, the required sensors need to be installed across the entire underground part of the site and installation of the required regulation systems (Darling, 2011). In this regard, the monitoring and processing of all gather data will be taking place in the ground central office, where mine engineer could monitor it. On the other hand, in terms of climate control, it is essential to take into account tremendous changes climate modifications can have on the safety of the mine and its stability (Collis, 2003). In this regard, extreme modifications of micro-climate can result in undermining stability and safety of the site.
In terms of hazard regulation, in the working environment of mines, safety is the most crucial consideration since the underground environment of mines is extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Therefore, dislocation of pressure, temperature, humidity and oxygen level sensors in order to monitor the safety level for people. Since mines are artificial constructions and their stability is questionable. Therefore, sensors monitoring seismic activity would be crucial to checking safety and stability level of the environment (Bise, 2003). Another important aspect is that in mines there might be locations of the natural gas, which can explode. In this regard, sensors detecting fire and facilities with fire extinguishers and fire blankets should be dislocated on each level (Darling, 2011). In this regard, it is also essential to conduct constant monitoring of existing supporting systems of electricity, ventilation and making sure that senior function correctly (Hartman and Mutmansky, 2002).
Regarding the criterion of perceptual maintenance, sensory initiation and sensory conformance should be taken into account. In terms of sensory initiation, it is important that working environment accommodates all sensory functions. In the mining environment, it is essential to have appropriate lighting system so that miners could easily navigate in the limited space (Darling, 2011). In order to avoid deterioration of miners hearing capacity, sections where people work on their own and areas where huge and loud equipment is in use should be separated. Miners working with loud equipment have to be provided with soundproof headphones (Bise, 2003). Another essential innovation is the installation of video cameras in order to keep visual contact with the miners between different levels and also with the central office. The rationale is that when other sensory systems might be undermined, visual verification can be quite helpful. In terms of sensory conformance, the complexity of the mining environment does not allow much of stimulation of various sensory systems. The installed systems are aimed at preserving the environment as close to normal or at least biologically comfortable for miners functioning underground. On the other hand, the most crucial biological system that needs stimulation in the underground environment of the mine is breathing and access of enough oxygen into one’s body. If the level of oxygen is below normal, then all sensory systems will be affected. Thus, it can be argued that by installing a functional system of ventilation and monitoring it accordingly will result in stimulation and normal functioning of all sensory systems (Collis, 2003).
Regarding social facilitation, social initiation and social isolation need to be taken into account. In terms of the social initiation, the underground environment no matter how spatial it can be cannot be designed for any social behaviour but work. In this regard, the only facilities for social behaviour that mine engineer can design and make socially-friendly are ground facilities of the site, where miners can have some rest, change of clothes and food. In his regard, the recreation area should be spacious, light and comfortable in order to compensate for the complexity of the underground environment. These facilities will stimulate social behaviour and chatting environment (Hustrulid, and Kuchta, 2006). In terms of controlling social isolation, it would be beneficial to divide recreation facility into different rooms, where some people could watch TV, or read a book while other could play cards in a different room. Thus, miners will have a chance to preserve certain privacy irrespective of constant being in the group of their co-workers (Bise, 2003).


Bise, C.J. 2003. Mining Engineering Analysis. Englewood, CO: SME Publishing.
Collis, H. 2003. Transport, Engineering and Architecture. Oxford, OX: Architectural Press.
Darling, P. 2011. SME. Mining Engineering Handbook. Englewood, CO: SME Publishing.
Hartman, H. and Mutmansky. J. 2002. Introductory Mining Engineering. Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiles & Sons.
Hustrulid, W.A. and Kuchta, M. 2006. Open Pit Mine Planning and Design. Brookfield, VT:
Taylor& Francis.

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