Mining engineering is the science of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. It also includes minerals for additional value. It is essential to modern society. Mining activities by their nature cause a disturbance of the environment in and around which the minerals are located. Mining engineers must also be concerned with the production and processing of mineral commodities and the mitigation or damage to the environment.
Mining engineers are also involved in the mineral discovery stage by working with geologists to identify a mineral reserve. Engineers drill core samples and conduct surface surveys searching for specific compounds and ores. The discovery can be made from research of mineral maps, academic geological reports or local, state and national geological reports.
After a mineral is located, the mining engineer will determine the ore properties. A chemical analysis of the ore is done to determine the composition. Once the mineral identification and reserve amount is reasonably determined, the next step is to determine the feasibility of recovering the mineral deposit. The market condition of the mineral is also examined to determine whether it is feasible to create a mine.