What is a Mining Engineer?

Virtually every part of your daily life exists as it is because of materials drawn from the earth through mining. Everything we can’t grow in the soil or fish from the sea is mined. Gold, silver, nickel, platinum, iron, nuclear fuel, lithium, potash, building materials, coal and oil are all materials that have to be mined.

Open pit mining image

The components in your computer, the cables that carry power and data around the globe, the roads on which you drive and the vehicles that carry you along them are composed of mined materials. The fillings in your teeth, the ingredients in your toothpaste, and the plastics in your toothbrush also exist because their ingredients come from mining.

Mining engineers make gathering and refining those raw materials possible. The job is part technical design and part business management. Mining engineers figure out where valuable and accessible material deposits exist. They devise ways to extract them safely from the ground. They play a significant role in transporting and refining those materials to make them available for manufacturing into usable products for society.

They manage day-to-day mining activities to maximize extraction volume and profit. They ensure that the operations are safe for people and equipment and designing and operating systems that are efficient, environmentally compliant and cost.

All engineers need a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics and physics before they can gain expertise in their chosen fields. Because of the nature of the work, though, mining engineers also need a broad understanding of other engineering disciplines including civil, electrical, geological, mechanical, and computer engineering.

Mining engineering provides a great and fulfilling career for anyone who wants to make an important contribution to the world economy and who likes travel, seeks adventure, and enjoys problem solving.