selective mining[si′lek·tiv ′mīn·iŋ]
the separate extraction of useful minerals that occur together or the separate extraction of valuable minerals and gangue. Selective mining ensures the most complete extraction of a useful mineral with minimal depletion, but it increases the costs of extraction and complicates the organization of mining operations.
Deposits with complex structures are selectively worked by blasting blocks without disturbing the geological structure, by blasting the various useful minerals and gangue separately, by blasting along the contact areas of ore bodies and gangue, by blasting and separating layers of rocks simultaneously, and by loosening layers of rocks by means of rippers. Blasted rocks are removed from the face by means of controlled caving, selective vertical or horizontal excavation, sorting within the face, and combined removal. Selective mining is especially efficient when valuable ores are mined because it permits a significant improvement in the quality of the rock mass to be concentrated.