Mining Industry NL

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What is the mining cycle?

The mining cycle is a systematic sequence that guides the mining industry from start to finish. It begins with exploration (through geoscience), where target areas are researched and surveyed to find potential mineral deposits. If something valuable is found, it moves to the discovery stage, which relies on thorough geoscience and planning. Successful discoveries may progress to development, involving feasibility studies and fund-raising for construction. Once established, the mine enters the production phase, extracting and processing materials. Finally, throughout and after the mining process, reclamation ensures the environment is protected and restored, with sites often repurposed for community use. This cycle ensures both the sustainable extraction of essential minerals and environmental responsibility.


This initial phase often starts with research to identify target areas. Professionals, both prospectors and exploration companies, then carry out geological mapping, geochemical, and geophysical surveys.
Mineral Exploration
This stage signifies finding something valuable. Good fieldwork, superior geoscience, investment, and meticulous planning are instrumental in advancing discoveries to the next phase. Given society's expanding consumption patterns and the depletion of known mineral deposits, fresh discoveries are paramount. Yet, it's worth noting that a mere fraction of these deposits transition to operational mines. Acquiring permits, leases, and licenses becomes essential at this juncture.
Mine Development
This phase delves deep into feasibility, geoscience, and engineering studies. Should these analyses be favorable and once necessary approvals are secured, companies decide on project continuation. Fundraising ensues, enabling construction and mine development, marking this as the mining cycle's costliest phase.
Mine Operation
This stage revolves around extracting, milling, and processing raw materials, encompassing commodities like coal, metals, industrial minerals, and aggregate. A mine's operational duration hinges on the deposit's volume, quality, and the venture's profitability.
Mine Closure
This vital phase, emphasizing environmental protection and mine site restoration, commences at a project's inception and persists post-closure. Mines necessitate approved closure and reclamation plans, backed by a bond reflecting the estimated reclamation expenses. Approved by pertinent departments, these strategies often enhance land value in communities, offering recreational and developmental prospects. Progressive reclamation throughout the mine's lifespan is highly advocated.