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largest marble producing open pit mining in the haryana

hazards of marble mining | tehelka

hazards of marble mining | tehelka

Though the marble industry provides employment to thousands of people and contributes substantially to the economy of the state, no attempts have been made to evaluate and table the social and environmental costs of marble mining, reports VIJAY MATHUR

When we think of Taj Mahal, we think of love and also Makrana marble- the white marble with which eternal structure of love has been created. In fact, Makrana marble is used for sculptures and as a dcor for buildings. Little doubt it has been used for iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal in Agra, Victoria Memorial in Kolkata and Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi. Now the Makrana Marble is listed as a Global Heritage Stone by International Union of Geological Sciences.

However, though the marble industry provides employment to thousands of people, and contributes substantially to the economy of the state, no attempts have been made to evaluate and table the social and environmental costs of marble mining. The death of the Gomati is just one example of how mammoth the ecological cost can be. It has come about through careless and unplanned marble mining in the rivers catchment and the blocking of rivulets through the dumping of marble overburden and slurry. The river has been reduced to a narrow, seasonal stream that comes alive only during the monsoon.

Taking note of the situation, and prompted by a PIL by a local NGO and other environmental organizations, the Supreme Court ordered a complete ban on marble mining in 2002, over the whole of Rajasthan. The ban did not last long; lobbying and affidavits by the state government, lobbying by the media for development activity, fear of unemployment, and changes in policy and permission regimes all ensured that it was lifted a mere two months later.

Last year, the Rajasthan High Court ordered the closure of 474 marble mines in Makrana that were found to be flouting the rules with impunity. No action has been taken on mines in the southern part of Rajasthan whose owners are in a hurry to extract as much as they can before the court wakes up or the department realizes that the time to take appropriate action has come.

Bhomik Shah who worked with WWF-India as senior programme coordinator and Aakash Mehrotra, a researcher in a paper titled Mountains of Marble Waste observed that there increasing threat of desertification. The situation is so bad that in many parts there is no pastureland for cattle to graze and no productive farmland to plough. The tribals of Obri village in Udaipur district, for example, now have no common pastures left for their cattle or farmland to grow food. The entire area is an intense marble mining zone. Fifty-five-year-old Hukma Bhai from Obri says: Tees saal pahle hamne mines ka swagat kiya lekin ab hum apne jungle or zamin sab kho chuke he. Jo kuchh bacha he wo kisi kam ka nahi he. (Thirty years ago we welcomed the mines but now we have lost our forests and our land. Whatever is left is useless.

The limestone mines of Chittor have breached the regions water table. The mines have been operational since 1987, and the unit has excavated pits as much as 40 metres deep. In New Surjana village, located near the mines, there is acute water scarcity and recession in the groundwater table. Residents claim that water could earlier be found at 25 feet, but now the water table has fallen to as low as 400-500 feet.

Unregulated legal mining and rampant illegal mining in Rajasthan has systematically destroyed forests, devastated the Aravallis, and played havoc with the water resources of the state, says Centre for Science and Environments Sixth State of Indias Environment report, Rich Lands, Poor People Is sustainable mining possible? With the industry pouncing on mining leases in schedule V areas banned for the last nine years and opened by the previous Vasundhara Raje Scindia government in 2008 it could be only a matter of time before the damage to ecology and environment becomes irreparable.

Rajasthan has the highest number of mine leases in the country 1,324 leases for major minerals, 10,851 for minor minerals and 19,251 quarry licenses for mining stones. The state earned about 590 crore royalty from major minerals like lead, zinc and limestone in 2004-2005. But the sector contributes only three per cent to the states revenue. Rajasthan holds reserves for 44 major and 22 minor minerals and is the only producer of garnet, jasper, selenite, wollastonite and zinc concentrates. It is also the leading producer of calcite, lead concentrate, ball clay, fireclay, ochre, phosphorite, silver and steatite. But it is best known for its production of marble, sandstone, marble and other stones. It produces 10 per cent of the worlds and 70 per cent of Indias output of sandstone. Ajmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Pali, Rajsamand, and Udaipur are its main mining districts.

Rajasthan has thousands of unorganized mines, which can be as small as one-twentieth of a hectare. They fall out of the purview of government control and there are no accounts of these mines. Illegal mines have no mechanism in place to implement environmental protection measures. For instance, sandstone quarries may be as small as 200 x 100 feet and because these mines operate beyond the law, workers rights are not recognized. Basic facilities such as toilets and water do not exist, nor do safety procedures or compensation for accidents. In Makrana mines, there is an average of one death a day from work-related illnesses like silicosis and tuberculosis.

It is the large variety of marbles that make if attractive for some unscrupulous segments to exploit. Rajnagar, is considered to be the largest marble-producing region in the world. Located near Udaipur, Rajnagar is home to over 2,000 marble units. Although the original colour of marble is white, but to make these commercially viable, a chemical process is adopted. Marble rocks in this region are passed through a technical process of color change. Indo-Italian is a unique variety prepared by a similar process. Its color is pistil. It is here the problem arises. This process pollutes the environment. Therefore, by the order of the Supreme Court, many units adjacent to the Sariska Tiger Sanctuary have been closed.

A distinct marble is prepared by giving it a slightly darker and pinker color. It is known as Onyx marble, which is a different and exotic stone, which gives a beautiful and breathtaking impression. It gives royal and stunning appearance when it is used in flooring and other interior designing projects. There are so many excellent uses of onyx marble. Onyx is available in beautiful different color. Onyx marble is known for its rich palette of beautiful colors and appearance. It became a popular choice due to its beauty and elegance. It is easy to use also it is a versatile material that is used to make wall claddings, tabletops, wainscot, and vanity tops. It is similar to Pakistan Onyx marble gemstone.

Makrana is the source of the marble used in the Taj Mahal. It is situated at a distance of 60 km from Kishangarh and falls in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The region has various mining ranges, mainly Doongri, Devi, Ulodi, Saabwali, Gulabi, Kumari, Neharkhan, Matabhar, Matabhar kumari, Chuck doongri, Chosira and Pahar Kua amongst others. Worlds largest marble-producing area, with over 2,000 gang saw units located in the nearby town of Udaipur to process the material produced. Agaria is the best variety of this area, with numerous other varieties and patterns, primarily in white base. The marble is dolomite and often has quartz intrusions.

Located near the capital city of the state of Jaipur (also known as the Pink City), it is dolomite marble with intrusions of tremolite, and is commonly known by the name of pista (pistachio) marble, because of the green colored tremolite against an off-white background. One of the famous varieties of this area was known as Indo-Italian, owing to its resemblance with Satvario Marble. The Supreme Court of India because of the vicinity of the area to the Sariska Tiger Reserve now bans most of the mining of this famous field. Also known as Onyx Marble, it has thick bands of green and pink hint. A resemblance to Onyx Marble from Pakistan gives it this name. This is also highly dolomite. It is considered to be a thick layer stone with a green and pink aura.

Though it has not been metamorphosed and hence is still a limestone, it is known as Yellow Marble in trade circles. It is mined in the Jaisalmer District. The yellow marble is called Jaisalmeri marble in commercial areas. Marble found in Abu is basically used in decoration. This stone is mostly used in sculpting temples and sculpture. The stone, known as Green Marble, is found in the mines of Kesariyaji region near Udaipur. However, Kishangarh in Marwar is famous as Marble Mandi. The there is yellow marble. These are ultra basic rocks in shades of brown and green color. The crisscross linear pattern given it a remarkable resemblance to a photograph of dense forest. These are also known as forest green/brown or fancy green/brown. There is Kishangarh Marble. Sand stone marble is equally indispensable in the marble industry. Sand stones available in different sizes and types are mostly transparent. In addition to a mixture of metal particles, it also occurs in the form of fractures or fragments. Sand stone is also available in brown, green, pink, white and black and white colors.

Sand stones of certain colors are available only in certain areas. However, they are also made from a mixture of water or other chemicals. They have immense ability to absorb water. They are most commonly used for filling or bridging cracks. Sand stones are basically deep shining. They also have the form of chalk and coal. Its maximum use is in framework during construction. Sand stone is the backbone for the handicrafts industry.

Although there are sand stone mines in Bihar, Gujarat and Assam and Andhra Pradesh, 90 percent of sand stone is extracted from the mines of Bundi, Chittor, Kota, Dholpur, Jodhpur and Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. Sand stones also exported. Architects say that sand stone of various colours found in these areas are considered superior in terms of interiors and exteriors. Talking about its selection of attractive colors, Agra Red, Jodhpur Red, Lalitpur Pink, Rainbow Sandstone and Raj Green are considered more favorites. Architects say that Jodhpur Pink is considered to be the best in terms of exterior decoration. Sand is also found in Rajasthan with about 200 attractive colored hues. Granite is at number five among the products exported from India to overseas.

The way dealers have developed new methods and crafts of the use of marble; its market has also increased proportionally. Surprisingly, despite this, the price is still stable. The demand for it has increased at a rapid pace, and its use in cutting-edge architectural crafts has also increased at the same speed.

As a result, Rajasthan is setting new heights as the marble-producing region. According to commercial estimates, Rajasthans contribution in the countrys marble market is approximately 90 percent. There is a possibility of producing 1 million tonnes in Rajasthan this year. According to a business study, now even the middle class has jumped into the market as a buyer. Probably the major reason for this is the growing shortage of cement and skyrocketing prices.

Gauri Shankar Dhoot, owner of a marble storage unit says that a mixture of marble pieces and white cement is being used in roofing these days. These are called mosaic tiles. The best part is that this mixture is cheaper even than cement. The Sangha units are also trying to make their small blocks.

According to sources in Rajasthan Industrial Development and Investment Corporation, in the last few years, there has been an awakening towards moving towards state of the art. As a result Marble is exploring a new market. Units are now moving rapidly towards making mosaic tiles. However, the most important technological achievement in this direction would be to make a stone plaque rather than a block.

Deepak Bansal, a marble businessman from Makrana says old steel cutters took longer and had a fixed limit. But new and state-of-the-art machines have made this work easier and better. He says that the strength and extent of the machines for carving is not so successful in carving stones. Bansal says that the good thing is that it is indigenous and its price is not more than 10 lakhs.

However this method also has some disadvantages. It is a very tedious job in a way. The traditional method of mining is the biggest deterrent. Many times it happens that mines freeze and it is not possible to bring them back into position. Most work in mining involves manpower. However, petrol powered cranes are also used up to some point.

The sheer depth of the mines is the biggest obstacle in their excavation. Needless to say difficulties are multiplying. The ban on open licensing process due to foreign exchange regulation some time ago has badly hit people engaged in this business. Apart from this, there has been no provision in the Budget to help businessmen by way of the excise duty per square meter. Of course, it has been reduced from 20 to 10. But traders said that the problems remained the same; because a rebate of 10 was given with the condition that the wastage should not be more than 25 per cent. As marble cutting does not have this state of dissipation, the officials find this as a handle to harass the traders.

Despite problems, the mood of the industry is still upbeat. It is also because demand is increasing day by day. There is no unnecessary bounce. Particularly, the future of Makrana bright future is increasing. There is no doubt that this grout came from the basic and traditional parts of the market.

However, the way GST was introduced, it has hurt this market. The marble industry was flourishing well before demonetization and GST were introduced; but now everything has gone awry. Declining sales, long hours of work and drowning are swallowing the glow of the marble are the new norms.

A report of mining department observes that employment level in this industry has come down from 30% to 12%. The entrepreneurs say that demonetization GST and RERA have had the worst impact on the industry. Sources in the industry department also agree that if the demonetization and GST are the biggest reason for the downtrend and marble industry is its biggest example.

If there is a silver lining in these worsening conditions it is because the US market signal a recovery. The demand in the Middle East is also encouraging. The demand for this sector in the commercial market too can be said to be somewhat encouraging.

The gleaming marble is undoubtedly enthralled by its silver hues, but the industry has a slew of exasperating truths that make its whitewash look patchy. Marble exports from Rajasthan are to many countries including Spain, Italy, Turkey and Vietnam. However, there is a competition in domestic market because of availability of global brands in India. The global brand of marble is creating a fierce competition in the market. Due to liberalization, there was a provision in the last decade during the UPA government to give import licenses to businessmen on the basis of the prescribed regulations for importing foreign marble. But this facility created a black world in the marble market.

The issuance of import licenses led to breeding of corruption. There was scramble to get import license. One can only make a guess as to how many political leaders plunged into this pool of corruption.

According to informed sources, during that time, in the Makrana-Udaipur and Ajmer Kishangarh Marble Belt alone, Rs one thousand crore black market had flourished. The black market of marble was not limited to this, there was another story of scams. Despite having a defined regulator of import license, its back door was also open. As a result, the payment of additional marble from the back door was paid through hawala.

For example, if a businessman had a license to import up to three thousand tonnes of imported marble, by just investing Rs 40 lakh rupees, he would have made a profit of four crores by selling it in the open market. This conflagration gave rise to scams on the next day, so new disputes started. As a result, a series of new anomalies began to open. But its biggest loss was seen when there was a hole in the bottom of the revenue of the government. When the Narendra Modi government came at the Center, there was a check at this rampant corruption to some extent. With the abolition of import license the Modi government started a new option of imposing import duty. The sheer amount of import duty is no less surprising. But sources say that there is no dearth of sixes on no balls as well. Make in India also helped checking some malpractices in marble import business and making indigenous manufacturing of marble competitive so that domestic business could strive and thrive. This is the reason that the custom duty on imported products has also been increased considerably. Although the strong lobby of the importers tried in vain to put constraints, but there attempts did not materialize.

Sources say that black marketing of foreign marble may wane but cant be completely halted. As a result, hawala is still in existence while middlemen, who are expert in finding procedural flaws, are seen tainting this system.

Professional experts say that the energy and mining sector is a great example of anomalies. Understanding the geography of marble mining, it is not a task to scrape the foothills of a mountain. The entire land of the marble belt is covered with marble.

According to Apex Stone Industry Organization Center, Jaipur, Rajasthan is the largest state in the country in terms of production of precious stones. Rajasthan alone provides 5 crore precious stones every year and the annual production of marble is 15 million tonnes. The production of granite and sandstone combined is two and a half million tonnes. There is another issue that is of health of workers. Neither the government nor the businessmen care a fig for that.

Shreeji Ka Khera of Bhilwara district alone has lost 70 lives due to silicosis in the last decade. The sinking of stones stuck in the nostrils causes this disease. Even today no solution has been found to check the disease that is fatal and is affecting health of workers in marble industry. According to the World Health Organization, all forms of asbestos cause cancer, with chrysotile asbestos increasing the risk to cancer. This is a major health risk for workers, especially since these illegal mines do not provide safety equipment or compensation in case of accidents or deaths. But who cares?

open pit mining - an overview | sciencedirect topics

open pit mining - an overview | sciencedirect topics

Surface mining is a process whereby soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed. There are two principle types of surface mining, strip mining and open-pit mining (see Fig.8.8). Strip mining is the process of mining a seam of mineral by removing a long strip of overlying soil and rock. Strip mining is a practical type of mining when the ore body that is to be extracted is near the surface. Open-pit mining is the process of extracting rock or minerals from the earth through their removal from an open pit or borrow.

Surface mining is usually used to develop coal seams and deposits of many other minerals, but their feasibilities vary with the nature of the body ore. Large, low-grade ore deposits are usually economically attractive because it permits high recovery of the resource and allows sufficient space for large and efficient mining equipment. An open pit mine could recover almost 90% of the oil shale in a very thick deposit [17]. It is said that strip mining could provide an even higher recovery. Shown in Fig.8.8 is an open-pit mine used to explain the process of mining the oil shale. The overburden is drilled and blasted loose over an area above the oil shale zone and the load is then transported to a disposal area. Once the shale beds are exposed from the blasting, the shale is then drilled and blasted and then extracted from the pit.

Surface mining refers to techniques used to remove unconsolidated, consolidated, and weathered geologic materials at the land surface in order to expose and extract mineral resources. Surface mining is perhaps the most dramatic direct human disturbance at the landscape scale(Figs. 3 and 4) and there are a variety of types of surface mining, each of which results in different types and intensities of landscape disturbance (Table II). In general, the selection of mining methods is based on economics as influenced by the topography, thickness of overburden, and character of the resource.

FIGURE 4. Dissected face of aboveground mine tailings in the western United States. [From Toy, T. J., and Hadley, R. F. (1987). Geomorphology and Reclamation of Disturbed Lands, Academic Press, Orlando, FL.]

Major commodities extracted by surface mining in the United States include sand and gravel, copper, coal, and building stone. Although the area disturbed by surface mining constitutes less than 1% of the land surface in the United States, the practice severely disturbs the impacted areas. The following discussion of landscapes disturbed by surface mining is based on studies of coal mining, which is largely responsible for the recent increase in surface mining in the western United States, but the geomorphic principles are applicable to most surface-mined lands.

A complete geomorphologic investigation for the reclamation of surface-mined lands should consider pre-mining, active-mining, and postmining time periods. During the premining period, landforms and geomorphologic processes probably represent relatively natural or only partially disturbed conditions. To the extent that the surface is undisturbed, an approximate balance may exist between geomorphologic processes and surface form and pre-mining conditions therefore can guide designs for post-mining reclamation efforts. The active-mining period is a time of maximum disturbance and disequilibrium between the surface from and geomorphic processes. Process rates during this period will be greatly altered and the disturbed system will remain far from equilibrium. Post-mining reclamation or rehabilitation practices may not be able to reconstruct the landscape as it was prior to mining, but the surface form and vegetation of hillslopes and channels should resemble the pre-mining period as closely as possible if the goal is for geomorphologic processes to approximate the pre-mining system.

Placement and erosion of mine spoils can have substantial and persistent impacts on downstream river systems. Rivers draining the Sierra Nevada in California are still impacted by debris from late 19th century hydraulic mining, and the sustained disturbance has destroyed once extensive and commercially important salmon runs. In addition, mobilization of metals from mine spoils can result in elevated concentration of heavy metals in downstream rivers and floodplain sediments. The destruction of the Fly River, New Guinea, in the 1990s provides a tragic contemporary example of the effects of remobilized mine spoils on environmental systems.

Open pit mining refers to mining directly on the ground surface, thereby producing an open pit. This method is practical and cost-effective when the uranium ore is located near the surface (e.g., within 100m). Underground mining and ISL methods may be considered for sites that have uranium ores at deeper depths. An open pit mine is typically excavated with a series of benches to reach greater depths. Open pit mining initially involves the removal of soil and rock on top of the ore via drilling or blasting, which is put aside for future reclamation purposes after the useful content of the mine has been extracted. The resulting broken up rock materials are removed with front-end loaders and loaded onto dump trucks, which then transport the ore to a milling facility.

Surface mining affects surface stream runoff. The runoff may be increased, and subsequently, channel erosion is experienced as a result of reduced infiltration rates (Sengupta, 1993). Conversely, streams may also be affected by decreased surface runoff where more permeable rock strata become exposed by the surface mining.

Modifications of the local or regional recharge zones involve changing the infiltration rates by removal of vegetative cover, alteration of soil profiles, and compaction. Reduced infiltration rates decrease groundwater storage and reduce water availability. These disruptions are of particular concern in the semiarid western region of the United States. Shallow and coal seam aquifers can be drained by mining activity, causing temporary or permanent loss of existing wells near mined areas (Sengupta, 1993).

The disturbance of the overburden during surface mining also causes significant changes in the chemical nature of the system (Marcus, 1997). Such changes are due to the influence of water on the now available soluble salts and to the changing redox conditions resulting from the influx of oxygen into the system that was previously oxygen depleted. The movement of high concentrations of salts and/or elements into existing or reestablished groundwater aquifer systems can occur as a result of the disruption of the consolidated overburden and increased water penetration into reclaimed land.

Surface mining is used when the economics of removal of overburden to access the coal deposit is viable. Generally, the coal must be fairly close to the surface, but as machines increase their capacity to move material, fairly close is becoming deeper and deeper. There are also several categories of surface mining depending on the mining area. The most common is open cut, where the overburden is removed with draglines, large electric shovels and bucket wheel excavators, after it has been drilled and blasted (Fig. 7.7). The overburden is usually loaded into large trucks and removed to a waste area in the mine. The coal is then stripped, usually after blasting, using hydraulic excavators or loaders, and removed from the mine using haulage trucks or conveyors. Other types of surface mining include mountain top removal, which is an alternative to doing drift and/or slope mining. In some cases the entire top of a mountain might be considered overburden and often removed to be used to fill in depressions nearby. Other rarer surface methods include auger mining, where a trench is excavated and augers are used to extract the coal, usually in a narrow (thinner) seam, and often from high wall mining where thicker seams are sheared or excavated with special machinery (Figs 7.8 and 7.9).

Surface mining of coal brings immediate and aberrant harm to untamed life. The effect on natural life stems principally from aggravating, evacuating, and redistributing the land surface. The most direct impact on natural life is demolition or relocation of species in the ranges of uncovering and ruin heaping. Pit and ruin ranges are not fit for giving sustenance and coverto most types of untamed life. Versatile untamed life species such as diversion creatures, fowls, and predators leave these territories. More stationary creatures such as spineless creatures, reptiles, tunneling rodents, and little warm-blooded animals might be crushed. The people group ofmicroorganisms and supplement cycling forms are furious about development, stockpiling, and redistribution of soil. Debasement of amphibian territories is a noteworthy effect by surface mining and might be clearnumerous miles from a mining site. Silt defilement of surface water is regular with surface mining. Silt yields may expand a 1000 times of their previous level because of strip mining. The impacts of silt on sea-going untamed life change with the species and the measure of defilement. High residue levels can kill angle straightforwardly, cover upcoming beds, lessen light transmission, change temperature slopes, fill-in pools, spread streamflow over more extensive shallower territories, and decrease generation of amphibian creatures used as nourishment by different species. These progressions crush the living space of esteemed species and may upgrade natural surroundings for less-alluring species.

Open-pit mining is probably most advanced because of developments in mining low-grade copper deposits and iron ore. It is suitable for much of the resource if it is done on a large scale and will allow low-cost removal of most of the resource. Research needs include studies of slope stability, dewatering on a large scale, methods of placement of spent shale in the pit, and a plan for location of pits for maximum resource utilization and minimum environmental costs. This information will be useful in developing federal leasing policies.

open-pit mining Mining. a method of mining in which the surface excavation is open for the duration of mining activity, employed to remove ores and minerals near the surface by first removing the waste or overburden and then breaking and loading the ore. Used to mine thick, steeply inclined coalbeds and also used extensively in hard-rock mining for metal ores, copper, gold, iron, aluminum, and other minerals. Thus, open-pit mine.

top 10 biggest gold mines

top 10 biggest gold mines

Majority ownership of Grasberg, which last year produced just under 557kt of copper, placing it in the top three, will be transferred to the Indonesian government under a deal inked in September after many years of wrangling.

Rio Tinto offloaded its production participation agreement to state-owned Inalum for $3.8 billion. Details of Freeports divestment of its 90% shareholding to give Inalum 51% of the mine and the extension of its operating contract to 2014 are currently being negotiated with Jakarta.

Freeport McMoRans Grasberg copper-gold complex in the Indonesian province of Papua produced nearly 2.7 million ounces of gold in 2018. The original deposit was discovered in 1936 by a Dutch geologist who called it Ertsberg or ore mountain. The mine, which provides work for 30,000 people, is located 4,100m above sea level near Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Papua. Production of gold hit a peak in 2001 above 3.5m ounces.

The Muruntau mining complex, located in Uzbekistan and consisting of open-pit mine and heap leach operations, is estimated to have produced about 2.4 million ounces of gold in 2018. Operated by state-owned Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat, the mine is more than 3.3km long, 2.5km wide nearly 600m deep. Considering the stunning resource base, estimated in excess of 150m ounces, Muruntau will likely regain and keep its ranking as worlds biggest gold mine.

The Goldstrike gold mining complex is in Eureka County in north-eastern Nevada and forms part of the newly-created Barrick-Newmont JV in the US state. The mine consists of both open pit and underground operations. It is located on the Carlin Trend, a prolific gold since Barrick acquired Goldstrike in 1986 it has produced 42m ounces of gold. In 2018, Goldstrike (which includes output from the Cortez mine) produced just under 2.1 million ounces of gold.

Located in one of Russias most prolific gold mining provinces, Olimpiada is Polyus largest operation. The mine began production in 1996 and currently accounts for over a half the Moscow-based companys total gold output. The ore mined at the site is processed at three plants with a combined capacity of 13 million tonnes of ore annually. Olimpiada produced over 1.3 million ounces of gold in 2018, a 12% increase over the prior year.

Newcrests Lihir operation on Aniolam Island in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea is 900 kilometres north-east of the capital Port Moresby. The gold deposit at Lihir is within the Luise Caldera, an extinct volcanic crater that is geothermally active. The Lihir mine produced 976,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 6% improvement over 2017.

The Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic is about 100 km northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo. The mine is operated by the Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation a joint venture between Barrick (60%) and Newmont Goldcorp (40%) The Pueblo Viejo mine produced 969,000 ounces of gold in 2018, losing its status as a 1moz+ annual producer.

Newmont Goldcorps four mine sites in Nevada include integrated operations at Carlin, located west of the city of Elko on the geologic feature known as the Carlin Trend. Stretching 56km (35mi), the Carlin Trend was first prospected by Newmont geologists John Livermore and Alan Coope in 1965. Carlin produced 927,000 ounces of gold in 2018, down nearly 5% year on year.

Kibali mine in Democratic Republic of Congo is situated adjacent to the town of Doko and 210km from Arua on the Ugandan border. Kibali is co-owned by AngloGold Ashanti (45%), Barrick Gold Corporation (45%) following its merger with Randgold Resources, and Socit Minire de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO) (10%), a state-owned gold mining company. Kibali produced 807,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 35% jump over 2017.

Cadia Valley operation in New South Wales was Australias top producing mine last year, dethroning Newmont Goldcorps Boddington operation in Western Australia and helping to push the storied Kalgoorlie Super Pit out of the top 10. Cadia East underground panel cave mine commenced commercial production in January 2013. Cadia East mine in the Cadia valley produced 752,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a stunning 52% more than last year.

Newmont Goldcorps Boddington mine is located within the Saddleback greenstone belt in Western Australia. Boddington is located 120 km southeast of Perth. Boddington was a three-way joint venture between Newmont Goldcorp, AngloGold Ashanti and Newcrest. In 2009, Newmont Goldcorp purchased AngloGold Ashantis shares to become the sole owner. Boddington produced 709,000 ounces of gold in 2018, a 10% year on year decline.

Based on publicly disclosed information only the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec wouldve made the top 10 both last year and in 2017. Malartic is a partnership by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle, which acquired the mine from Osisko in 2014. Launched in 2005, the development of the mine was completed in just six years. Canadian Malartic produced 697,000 ounces in 2018, 10% more than the year before..

The Super Pit as it is known is some 600km east of Perth has produced 50 million ounces over 30 years and fully developed the cut will be 3.6km long, 1.6km wide and up to 650m deep. A 50-50 JV between Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp, Kalgoorlie fell out of the top ten last year with a 17% drop in output to 628,000 ounces.

The Veladero mine is located in the San Juan Province of Argentina, immediately to the south of the Barricks suspended Pascua-Lama project. Barrick sold half of Veladero to Chinas Shandong Gold in 2017 for $960m. Production declined 13% to 556,000 ounces last year after peaking in 2010 at more than 1m ounces per year.

data digitalisation in the open-pit mining industry: a scoping review | springerlink

data digitalisation in the open-pit mining industry: a scoping review | springerlink

Mining 4.0 has risen from the need of the extractive industry to answer the technical challenges that rapidly shift at the mining sites. Currently, many models can be developed to address this issue however, the way in which the digitalisation of information occurs is not entirely clear. Therefore, this scoping review aims to address the main digitalisation tools and processes used in the open-pit mining industry. As a secondary outcome, it intends to provide a better understanding of this new era and the emergence of Mining 4.0. A scoping review protocol with the guidelines set to conduct the review has already been published. The Preferred Reporting of Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were used conduct the research: the keywords digitalisation/digitalization) and modelling/modeling), which were combined with open pit and open cast and applied in the most appropriate databases. Initially, 6775 records were identified; after applying exclusion criteria such as year, document type, source type, language, and after a first screen throughout each study title, 65 papers were considered eligible. The records were full-text screened in order to retrieve the needed information, where only 23 records remained. After, the snowballing technique was applied, and 5 more papers were added to the study. It was identified different techniques and ways of applying them; the chosen processes and tools were chosen according to the purpose of each study. Most of the studies combined photogrammetric techniques (using unmanned aerial vehicles) with topographic information. Terrestrial laser scanning techniques were also reported. Regarding the software, AgiSoft PhotoScan was chosen as the primary digitalisation tool in most studies. Hopefully, this scoping review will help authors to understand what possibilities they have in terms of software and tools, according to the issue they are trying to solve.

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Duarte, J., Rodrigues, M.F. & Santos Baptista, J. Data Digitalisation in the Open-Pit Mining Industry: A Scoping Review. Arch Computat Methods Eng 28, 31673181 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11831-020-09493-3

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