Elements or resources of interest to our society are frequently dispersed throughout nature at it is often necessary to collect these elements or resources together if they are to be used by society. Mining performs this essential function and is often required to sort through and handle large amounts of material to collect the elements or resources of interest.
What goes on at the face where mining machinery meets the natural mineral occurrence is mostly a matter of mining methods. The material that is extracted from the face must normally be handled in bulk and moved to processing facilities. Materials Handling reviews and trains people in sizing and designing the systems that will move that material. Two of the most common systems are conveyors and trucks.
In addition to handling the pay material that is mined, the equipment and workers in the mines must have their essential physical needs met and must be supplied with power. Materials Handling also covers the mine support systems that provide these functions. Dewatering is one of the most important since mines are often located at lower elevations where water in the region will attempt to collect. Pump and pipe systems responsible for keeping relatively dry working conditions are a part of this course. Pumps can also be used to move slurries to or through processing facilities and air is an essential fluid for workers to function in a mine environment.
The course is divided in seven subject units. Several deal with mine layouts and MineSight, while other units deal with Conveyors, Trucks and Shovels, Fluids, and Hoists.