Since the beginning of time, mankind has utilised ore, stone, and later metals that are found underground. The primary reason for early mining was to craft tools, with flint being a popular material to make primitive cutting tools. As time went by, man discovered metals and began to develop more sophisticated tools and weapons. The demand for this new material caused mining to develop quickly, and they managed to source enough for their needs, and all without the use of machinery. Human power was the only way to bring up the valuable ore, with perhaps the help of horses and other large animals.
America saw several gold rushes in their history, with thousands of individual prospectors panning the rivers of California and other states, and the hysteria literally created new settlements that later became towns and then cities. Australia also enjoyed periods when many hopeful prospectors arrived looking to find a fortune under the ground. Even during those times, some machinery would be used, perhaps to remove the waste, while panning was the preferred method to find the gold, as a keen eye was required, and above all, patience.
The Industrial Revolution
The beginning of the 19th century saw the discovery of steel, and this created a huge demand and machine mining became the preferred choice, with even the earliest machines able to do the work of hundreds of men in a single day. Tin, iron, gold, silver, and many other minerals have been extensively mined throughout the world, with only perhaps silver and gold mining that still use humans in some locations.
Modern Machine Mining
Australia has a huge mining industry, and historically it was responsible for a large influx of immigrants who worked in the mining industry. Modern mines might include the following:
Mining companies typically use hire facilities on many occasions, and if you are looking for mining machinery in Australia, plant hire equipment from Total Plant Hire is an affordable solution.
Some of the heavy equipment used in modern mining is massive, and this machinery needs to be running constantly, and whenever repairs are required, the mining company will look to mining equipment hire as a temporary solution. Trucks, excavators, water trucks and vacuum trucks are all needed, and it is essential to have access to extra vehicles whenever the need arises. Mining in an intensive industry, and the equipment takes heavy punishment, and while the machinery does need regular maintenance, they must have replacement vehicles to keep things flowing.
Mining requires several support industries, and vehicle and machinery maintenance is an integral part of the business, and with the focus on the environment, mining companies must adhere strictly to government laws and regulations.
Mining has come a long way since the days when men went down the mine armed with pick axes and shovels, and while humans do control the machinery, they no longer are involved in the actual mining process.