Mining engineering involves economically removing ore from the earth and delivering it in a manageable form to the Extraction Metallurgist for processing. The Mining Engineer is skilled in the knowledge of mining processes and must, through knowledge and experience:
(a) be conversant with surveying, shaft sinking, tunnelling practices, blasting and sequencing the extraction of the ore body as well as rock mechanics, mine ventilation, and general engineering..
(b) have a working knowledge of the strength and stability of mining excavations.
The selection of the correct mining method is one of the mining engineer’s most important functions. Mining engineers must understand the environmental problems in working underground, where ventilation, cooling of air and water, testing for methane, and provision of services such as power and water are essential for the productivity, safety and well-being of the workforce. It is also important for the mining engineer to be aware of the impact of the mining process on the environment and to be able to plan for restoration of the mining area so that it can be rehabilitated. Whether on the surface or underground, the mining engineer works closely with the the geologist, surveyors ,electrical and mechanical engineers and the mine surveyor to ensure that the mining operation is well planned and efficient, and that waste or overburden does not dilute or contaminate the ore destined for the extraction process.
The Mining Engineer is therefore one of the key contributors to the welfare of the mining industry.