Mining in Montana

Tim LeCain explains many techniques that mining engineers use in order to overcome the issues that arise with large scale underground mining systems. A rather simple but good example of this is the use of wooden beams that support the mining tunnels as they grow and become too much for the rock above to handle, which causes them to collapse. The consequences of these technologies are the terrible ghost mines that are left behind after mining has halted in that particular mine. In Tim LeCain’s text he uses the town of Butte, Montana as an example for this. Underneath the seemingly dense ground of Butte there are countless mining tunnels that have been left behind and abandoned from many years ago. The wooden supports that the engineers designed to keep the earth tunnel from collapsing on top of the hard working miners of the time. What they didn’t think of is what would happen after mining halted and the wooden supports were abandoned. Well, the wood starts to weather and rot and eventually they give in and the tunnels start collapsing. This then leaves buildings, farmland, or even animals above ground in dangers of falling into the unknown depths below them.

I’m not sure that mining will ever become a completely safe and harmless way of acquiring Earth’s resources. It is however, a guarantee that is will become safer as new technological advancements continue to grow. Another point that I believe is that we will mine these resources out of the Earth until we can no longer. Our reliance on them as a whole is just too large to stop or even slow down mining. As I stated in my last paragraph, I think that we will come up with cleaner ways of mining and safer way of leaving our mines after mining has halted.

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