Mining Science

Mining Science


the aggregate of knowledge concerning the natural conditions of formation of mineral deposits, the physical phenomena occurring in rock strata in connection with mining operations, methods for the extraction and concentration of solid minerals, and the organization of production to ensure safe and economical exploitation of deposits. New problems in mining science arose in connection with the creation and development of the petroleum and gas industry.

Mining science is concerned with processes of treatment of solid minerals in their development and interrelationship with the natural phenomena that accompany them. that is, the conditions of actually putting the processes into practice. The goal of mining science is to discover the principles and a scientific explanation of the phenomena and processes that occur during the mining of minerals, for the fundamental improvement of mining production technology and economics.

The collective term “mining art,” which referred to the procedures and methods of the practical activities associated with the extraction and concentration of minerals, was used in the literature until the late 19th century. Rapid development took place in the mining industry in the early 20th century. especially during the 1920’s and 1930’s. During this period a theoretical basis was established for the complex phenomena (mine pressure and sudden blowout) associated with the mining of mineral deposits, and differentiation occurred within the scientific disciplines, as a result of which concepts of the subjects and tasks of mining science were established.

The development of modern mining science may be divided into several stages.

The stage associated with the reestablishment of the industry in the 1920’s was characterized by the creation and development of scientific principles for the design of shafts and mines and by the organization of research on the problems of mining safety. The elimination of private ownership of land and mineral resources made possible the construction of mining enterprises with optimum parameters at feasible levels of expenditures. The work of B. I. Bokii, A. M. Terpigorev, L. D. Sheviakov, and their students played a significant role in the development of mine-shaft design methods. The standardization of mining work and the principles of mining planning were developed by M. M. Protod’iakonov. The study of safety problems was fully organized by A. A. Skochinskii. Such a range of scientific research activities was made possible by the establishment of creative workers’ groups (sub-departments at educational institutions, as well as design organizations).

The second stage in mining science (the years of the first five-year plans; 1929–40) was associated with the implementation of large-scale mechanization of mining operations on the basis of the electrification and standardization of the mining industry. Studies were made to establish parameters for mining machines and equipment. This period also saw the development of mining mechanics, including shaft hoisting, drainage, turbine machinery, and pneumatic facilities. The creation of highly efficient mining machinery and transportation facilities required studies of the physical and mechanical properties of coal, ore. rock, and coal-cutting and rock-crushing operations, which constituted the scientific basis for the design and operation of machinery. Design and construction institutes such as Giprouglemash, as well as groups working under the direction of A. M. Terpigorev and A. O. Spivakovskii, played an important part in the development of the theory of mechanization of mining operations. The work of M. M. Fedorov, A. P. German, A. S. II’ichev, and G. M. Elanchik was significant for the development of mining mechanics.

In the early I930’s the differentiation of mining science led to the creation of an ore-mining branch, which included research on stripping and on systems of dressing and mechanization during the mining of ore deposits. The work of N. I. Trushkov, N. A. Starikov, and I. A. Kuznetsov and, at a later time, P. I. Gorodetskii, M. I. Agoshkov, and G. M. Malakhov figured prominently in the formation of this discipline. The work of E. N. Barbot de Marni, E. F. Sheshko. and B. P. Bogoliubov formed the basis for research on the open-cut method of mining mineral deposits. Subsequently the work of N. V. Mel’nikov, P. E. Zurkov, V. V. Rzhevskii. and A. I. Arsent’ev contributed to the formation and development of the Soviet scientific school of the opencut mining method. The stage of the 1930’s was also characterized by achievements in mining geometry and mine surveying in connection with the work of P. K. Sobolevskii, V. 1. Bauman. P. M. Leontovskii, I. M. Bakhurin, D. N. Oglo-blin. and P. A. Ryzhov.

The stage that began in the 1950’s was characterized by the widespread utilization of advances made in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, both for the study of natural phenomena during the mining of deposits and for the creation of a mining technology. A large network of scientific research, construction. design, and educational institutions in mining regions and basins as well as of research teams involved in the development of mining science, was created. The results of research on the opencut mining method, the construction of large mining enterprises, and the creation of mechanization systems with remote and, in some cases, automated controls are being adopted on a broad scale. Research in mining science is being conducted with the aid of simulation techniques, electronic computers, and the finest precision equipment. The study of the physics of rocks (M. M. Protod’iakonov Jr.. L. I. Baron, and V. V. Rzhevskii) and of mountain massifs and processes is becoming one of the major trends in the development of mining science. Fundamentally new methods are being devised for the use of explosives (G. P. Demidiuk and N. V. Mel’nikov) and the maintenance of safety during the mining of seams prone to sudden blowouts of coal and gas (L. N. Bykov, I. M. Pechuk, G. D. Lidin, and V. V. Khodot), and research is under way on the problems of mining deposits that lie at great depths and under complex conditions. For the first time, some scientific explanation is being provided for mine pressure and rock displacement (V. D. Slesarev, S. G. Aver-shin, G. N. Kuznetsov, and V. T. Davidiants). which is being used to good advantage during the mining of ore deposits and is taken into consideration during the design and construction of coal-mine systems and equipment. Work on mine aerodynamics, which has resulted in precise methods for the calculation of shaft ventilation (V. N. Voronin and V. B. Komarov), is continuing to develop. Soviet scientists have produced major theoretical work on flotation and chemical ore-processing methods. the production of high-quality concentrates. and the extraction of rare elements. I. N. Plak-sin. P. V. Liashchenko. V. Ia. Mostovich, and M. F. Ortin have made large contributions to the scientific principles of mineral concentration. Theoretical principles have been developed for the drying of deposits, freezing of flooded rock, and special mine-shaft cutting methods, and units have been designed for cutting mine shafts from the surface (G. I. Man’kovskii and N. G. Trupak). Underground cutting of mine shafts, crosscuts, and drifts, the theoretical foundations for which were laid by the Soviet researchers N. M. Po-krovskii. N. A. Malevich. and D. I. Maliovanov, is performed by complexes of advanced machinery. Large-scale mechanized units for mining coal seams that not only make possible sharply increased productivity but also free men from heavy underground labor have been developed in the USSR by A. V. Dokukin, A. V. Topchiev, A. D. Gridin, S. Kh. Klorik’ian, and V. N. Khorin. Work is underway in mining economics on methods of technical and economic analysis, the determination of the parameters of shafts and mines on electronic computers, the rational utilization of fixed and circulating capital, the profitability of shafts, and the standardization and planning of mining operations (P. Z. Zviagin, T. Ia. Burshtein, A. S. Astakhov, A. P. Sudopla-tov, and A. M. Kurnosov). Geotechnology has become an independent division of mining science (A. I. Kirichenko, A. I. Kalabin, and V. Zh. Arens).

Mining science includes the following divisions:

(1) Technology, including stripping and systems for mining seams and ore deposits, opencut mining of deposits, surface and underwater mining of placer deposits, mining geomechanics, mining geometry, mine surveying, mining technology (principles of mechanization—rock crushing, coal cutting. blast-hole drilling, mine tunneling, mine transportation, and hoisting equipment), and concentration technology (gravitational, magnetic, electrical, and flotation methods, and sampling of ore and coal with subsequent composition analysis).

(2) Standardization of production and safety conditions, including methods for providing standard working conditions in shafts; the theory and methods of mine aerodynamics and the prevention of firedamp, sudden coal and gas blowouts, and mine dust; guidelines for the safe use of electricity in underground conditions; and methods for predicting and preventing the spontaneous combustion of coal and ore.

(3) Mining economics and the organization of production, which consists of mining economic geography, economics, and the organization of mining production.

The scientific councils of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Science and Technology were set up to coordinate the research being conducted on mining problems by industrial and academic institutes and universities. Permanent scientific commissions exist in the USSR for the problems of sudden coal and gas blowouts, the prevention of silicosis in the mining industry, and explosives and blasting operations. The results of research done in mining science are published in the scientific and technical journals Ugol(Coal) and Ugol’ Ukrainy(Coal of the Ukraine) and in the journal of abstracts Gornoe delo(Mining), published by the Ail-Union Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (VINITI).

Information exchanges take place at regular international mining congresses; the Fifth Congress was held in Moscow in 1967.


Gorodetskii, P. I. Osnovyproektirovaniia gornorudnykhpredpriia,, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955.
Mel’nikov, N. V. Razvitie gornoi nauki v oblasti otkrytoi razrabotki mestorozhdenii v SSSR,2nd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Kurnosov, A. M.. B. A. Rozentreter, and M.1. Ustinov. Nauchnye osnovy proektirovaniia ugol’nykh shakht dlia razrabotki pologikh plastov.Moscow, 1964.
Mel’nikov, N. V. Gornaia nauka (Zadachi v sviazi s razvitiem promyshlennosti).Moscow, 1964.
Agoshkov, M. I., and G. M.Malakhov. Podzemnaia razrabotka rudnykh mestorozhdenii.Moscow, 1966.
Sovremennoe sostoianie gornoi nauki v SSSR.Moscow, 1968.
Sheviakov. L. D. lzbr. trudv,vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1968.
Lidin, G. D. A. A. Skochinskii. 1874–1960.Moscow, 1969.
Nauchnye osnovy tekhnologii otkrytykh gornykh rabot.Moscow, 1969.’


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