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mining truck
A worker (center, left) is dwarfed
beside a mining truck, made by
Komatsu America Corp.

Holding the same fascination for prehistoric man who first discovered rich deposits of copper and iron for making tools and weapons, today the multi-trillion dollar mining industry shows no signs of ever slowing down.

Globally, demand is ever-increasing for gems used in both fashion jewelry and for industrial purposes; as well as copper for wiring and plumbing; iron and steel for building materials; boron for cleaning compounds; lithium for batteries; and the list of how minerals are used in daily life goes on.

Today, the Mideast not only watches over caches of crude oil, but also stores of the world's major minerals including a recently-discovered mother lode of gold, copper, silver, and lithium (in Afghanistan.)

In the US, coal is still king in famous locales such as West Virginia and Wyoming, and a modern US gold rush still continues in in America's western expanses — making the US the world's No. 4 gold producer behind Australia, South Africa, and China.

South Africa, diamond mining also arouses as much interest from investors as it does from human rights organizations over reported forays into greed and corruption.

Meanwhile, there are more steep prices to pay for uncovering natural riches.

Safety has been a controversial issue in the mining business for centuries, and while mining today is far safer than it was in the past, mining accidents are heart-wrenching for families of miners, and often elicit well-earn attention from the global media.

Companies must also grapple (some more successfully than others) with mining environmental concerns such as mountaintop removal and strip mining that may result in endangering the local habitat and poisoning local water supplies.

Around the Web, learn more about the complex issues facing the modern mining industry with a deep dig into feature industry-focused articles, along with lists of online companies, job openings, suppliers, equipment and services, educational resources and even a bit of mining history...

also see in Sciences -> Earth Sciences also see in Business ->  Energy Industry

More about the mining industry around the Web:

Infomine - Check out this cross-searchable database to the industry with companies, suppliers, equipment, and education resources for the gold, silver and diamond markets and related industrial mineral mining news.

Mining Technology - Here's a complete guide to the industry including coal, oil extraction, base and precious metals, industrial minerals & gemstones with directories to top suppliers and contractors, jobs and recruitment advice, and feature reports on industry trends.

Goldsheet Mining Directory - This is an extensive resource with a focus on the gold, silver, platinum, copper and diamond mining industries, searchable by A-Z list of companies or by sector. News, current market prices, investment info and history links. - Read the latest news headlines, feature articles and market updates, stock quotes, online forum, industry event calendar and company directory.

Mining News - A deep dig on the latest headline news from around the world plus company news releases, and free registration for gaining access to archived news features.

Mining industry resources for kids:

Juicy Geography: The Diamond Industry - Kid-friendly overview of the worldwide diamond industry process including teaching ideas & science projects, pop culture & historical references, with a good link list of related resources.

Mining for Kids - Colorful look at the U.S. minding industry with fun facts and vocabulary list.

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