ENVIRON 201 Chapter Notes - Chapter 23: Mountaintop Removal Mining, Placer Mining, Surface Mining

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Mineral: a naturally occurring solid element or inorganic compound with a crystal structure, a specific chemical composition, and distinct physical properties. Mining: in the broad sense, the extraction of any resource that is nonrenewable on the timescale of our society (such as fossil fuels or groundwater). In relation to mineral resources, the systematic removal of rock, soil, or other material for the purpose of extracting minerals of economic interest. Metal: a type of chemical element, or a mass of such an element, that typically is lustrous, opaque, and malleable and that can conduct heat and electricity. Ore: a mineral or grouping of minerals from which we can extract metals. Smelting: a process in which ore is heated beyond its melting point and combined with other metals or chemicals, in order to form metal with desirable characteristics. Steel is created by smelting iron ore with carbon, for example. Tailings: portions of ore left over after metals have been extracted in mining.

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