type of mining is less disturbing to the land surface than
surface mining. It also usually produces fewer waste materials.
However, it is more expensive and more dangerous than surface
newer form of subsurface mining known as in-situ mining
is designed to co-exist with other land uses, such as agriculture.
An in-situ mine typically consists of a series of injection
wells and recovery wells built with acid-resistant concrete
and polyvinyl chloride casing. A weak acid solution is pumped
into the ore body in order to dissolve the minerals. Then,
the metal-rich solution is drawn up through the recovery wells
for processing at a refining facility. This method is used
for the in-situ mining of copper ore.
an ore has been mined, it must be processed to extract pure
metal. Processes for extracting metal include smelting, electrowinning
and heap leaching.