What are the advantages and disadvantages of underground mining?

1 Answer
Feb 13, 2016


Economically a better option in some geological settings, but human safety a major issue.


Shallow mineral or coal deposits can be economically mined by open-pit or strip mines. However, with deeper mineral or coal deposits it becomes very costly to remove a great deal of overburden in these kinds of settings. So, in these cases underground mining is more cost effective. The downside is that human health and safety are at greater risk from mine cave-ins, flooding from groundwater or sea water, methane explosions in coal mines, or failure of air ventilation equipment.