Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that applies science and technology to the extraction of minerals from the earth. Mining engineering is associated with many other disciplines, such as geology, mineral processing and metallurgy, geotechnical engineering and surveying. A mining engineer may manage any phase of mining operations – from exploration and discovery of the mineral resource, through feasibility study, mine design, development of plans, production and operations to mine closure.
With the process of Mineral extraction, some amount of waste and uneconomic material are generated which are the primary source of pollution in the vicinity of mines. Mining activities by their nature cause a disturbance of the natural environment in and around which the minerals are located. Mining engineers must therefore be concerned not only with the production and processing of mineral commodities, but also with the mitigation of damage to the environment both during and after mining as a result of the change in the mining area.
Salary and statistics
Mining salaries are usually determined by the level of skill required, where the position is, and what kind of organization the engineer is working for. When comparing salaries from one region to another, cost of living and other factors need to be taken into consideration.
Mining engineers in India earn relatively high salaries in comparison to many other professions, with an average salary of $15,250. However, in comparison to mining engineer salaries in other regions, such as Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, Indian salaries are low. In the United States, there are an estimated 6,630 employed mining engineers, with a mean yearly salary of USD$90,070.
Students outside Colorado School of Mines campus
There are many ways to become a Mining Engineer but all include a university degree in Mining Engineering. Primarily, training includes a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng. or B.E.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. or B.S.), Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) orBachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Mining Engineering. Depending on the country and jurisdiction, to be licensed as a mining engineer a Master's degree; Master of Engineering (M.Eng.),Master of Science (M.Sc or M.S.) or Master of Applied Science(M.A.Sc.) maybe required. There are also mining engineers who have come from other disciplines e.g. from engineering fields likeMechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering,Geomatics Engineering, Environmental Engineering or from science fields like Geology, Geophysics, Physics, Geomatics, Earth Science,Mathematics, However, this path requires taking a graduate degree such as M.Eng, M.S., M.Sc. or M.A.Sc. in Mining Engineering after graduating from a different quantitative undergraduate program in order to be qualified as a mining engineer.
The fundamental subjects of mining engineering study usually include:
Mathematics; Calculus, Algebra, Differential Equations,Numerical Analysis
Geoscience; Geochemistry, Geophysics, Mineralogy, Geomatics
Mechanics; Rock mechanics, Soil Mechanics, Geomechanics
Thermodynamics; Heat Transfer, Work (thermodynamics), Mass Transfer
Fluid Mechanics; Fluid statics, Fluid Dynamics
Geostatistics; Spatial Analysis, Statistics
Control Engineering; Control Theory, Instrumentation
Surface Mining; Open-pit mining
Underground mining (soft rock)
Underground mining (hard rock)
Computing; MATLAB, Maptek (Vulcan)
Drilling and blasting
Solid Mechanics; Fracture Mechanics
In the United States, the University of Arizona offers a B.S. in Mining Engineering with tracks in mine operations, geomechanics, sustainable resource development and mineral processing. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology offers a B.S. in Mining Engineering and also an M.S. in Mining Engineering and Management and Colorado School of Mines offers a M.S. in Mining and Earth-Systems Engineering, also Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees in Mining and Earth-Systems Engineering and Underground Construction and Tunnel Engineering respectively.
In Canada, McGill University offers both undergraduate (B.Sc. or B.Eng.) and graduate (M.Sc. or M.S.) degrees in Mining Engineering. and the University of British Columbia in Vancouveroffers a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Mining Engineering and also graduate degrees (M.A.Sc. or M.Eng and Ph.D.) in Mining Engineering.
In Europe most programs are integrated (B.S. plus M.S. into one) after the Bologna Process and take 5 years to complete. InPortugal, the University of Porto offers a M.Eng. in Mining and Geo-Environmental Engineering and in Spain the Technical University of Madrid offers degrees in Mining Engineering with tracks in Mining Technology, Mining Operations, Fuels and Explosives, Metallurgy.