What Is the Most Commonly Used Mining Equipment and How It’s Used

By Steven Harrisson, November 28, 2017

The type of mining equipment used for a certain task depends on the type of the work that’s being carried out, whether above or below ground or mining for gold, metals, coal or crude oil. Here are the most commonly used tools for mining and the way in which they’re used.

mining instruments

Mining Drill

This is one of the most commonly used mining instruments. It is used for drilling underground for finding minerals which can be quite deep under the surface. They are also used to create pathways for miners underground, resembling a hallway or portal to the minerals. These drills can also be used for making tunnels in mountains and wells.

Blasting Tools

Similar to mining drills, they are also used to clear away unwanted rocks and cave walls, but the difference is that with blasting tools, it’s done manually. It’s important to mention that blasting tools, more than any other mining equipment, create a hazardous environment and are to be used by trained professionals with great care. After blasting, an excavator can be utilised to clear away any left over debris.

Earth Movers

Earth movers are primarily used for above ground, surface related mining work. Their main purpose is to carry soil from one destination (where you plan on digging) to another. They require a professional specialist for operation since they include a lot of functions like digging, pushing the ground around and transporting it. They also help sort debris and create a more organised work space.

Rock Pick

This is a hand held tool, which features a strong, pointy chisel and a grip (usually made out of rubber that reduces the stress put on the hands by the squeezing). It is used to manually split small to medium sized rocks, usually for the purpose of extracting a sample of the rock, which can later be used to gather information on how to easily break through the particular type of rock.

Big Paint Brush

A miner should always carry a paint brush with them and use it to remove the dust from rocks and expose the minerals. An example why this is important is the case of Don Swenson – a field collector who discovered a rare mineral by simply cleaning up the rock it was in. The rock’s previous owner had overlooked the mineral, simply because there was dirt on it.

Hammer and Pry-Bar

These mining instruments are used for extracting minerals by hand, since for this task a rock pick simply won’t do. The hammer should be paired with a strong pry, the form of which looks like a hole, with one side having a flat end and the other a pointy one. For usage, the pointy end of the ply-bar is placed near the mineral and then the user must hit the flat surface of the ply-bar with the hammer.