Surface Mining

Surface mining operations typically involve some sort of strip mining during the lifespan of a given mine. Strip mining, in general is characterized by the removal of overburden to expose the mineral for extraction. Surface mining is typically employed in situations where the overburden is relatively thin, or where underground mining would not be economically feasible. The main types of surface mining nclude: ·area mining, ·contour mining, ·mountaintop mining, and ·auger/highwall mining.
Area mining is typically conducted on flat or gently rolling terrain, and is used to extract coal over a large area. An area mine starts with an initial cut to expose the coal seam to be removed. The seam may then be removed, creating an open pit. Spoils and overburden are placed in a valley fill or some other disposal site. Materials that may be prone to leaching acid- or toxic-forming materials may be segregated from the rest of the overburden so that they may be isolated from…

About illegalmining

The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) defines illegal mining as “conducting mining activities without a mining right”. This ‘right’ depends on how long you expect to be digging and the size of the mine.
Initially one may only think that it is the surface soil which is being destroyed but there is more to it like pollution of water bodies.


Illegal mining is the absence of land rights, mining license, exploration or mineral transportation permit or of any document that could legitimate the on-going operations.

Illegal mining can be operated o​n the surface or underground. In most countries, underground mineral resources belong to the state.

Therefore, mineral resources can only be operated by a licensed operator according to the laws and regulations of the local government.

Most illegal mining takes place in low-grade areas or abandoned mining sites. Low productivity and limited production are therefore the main attributes of illegal mining. 

However, there are exceptions. The size of a country of frequency of the illegal mining can turn micro-productions into a visible portion of a nation's overall production.