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The History of Mining – Then and Now

 by General Kinematics,

For as long as humanity has been enthralled by the glimmering glow of metal, mining has been an essential part of our society. From the early days of men swinging pickaxes and pushing mine carts to today’s technologically advanced mining operations, mining has seen dramatic changes.

While mining may have historically begun as a treacherous profession driven  by intrepid men and women, today’s miners are a technologically savvy group of people who work to ensure that our planet’s invaluable natural resources are extracted efficiently, safely, and with minimal environmental impact.

In the Beginning

Mining has been a vital part of the world’s economy since the 1600s. In this era before machines were invented to take a lot of the risk out of the process – mines were dug and excavated by hand (with a little help from dynamite).

In the early stages, mining was done somewhat haphazardly; the industry was governed by rushes. In other words, when a certain metal was discovered, independent miners would flock to the area in the hopes of laying claim to a stretch of territory and then selling those minerals to a larger company. The 1848 California Gold Rush is a great example of that. Unfortunately, these “rushes” were carried out with minimal efficiency.

In fact, some minerals — like cryolite, a mineral used to process aluminum — has been tapped so thoroughly that the industry has had to resort to using a synthetic material.

A Safer, More Productive Industry

In our modern society,where technology is king, mining is more important than ever. Electronics like smartphones, for example, rely on about 60 different minerals to function.

Interestingly enough, the computers that are created with the help of minerals are being used to make the process of extracting those same minerals even more efficient. Software has been developed to estimate the cost of building a mine and hiring employees, and electronics of every size have been constructed to move minerals throughout the mine with minimal physical danger to miners.

Thanks to these technological advances, mining has also become much more friendly to the environment. Green mining technology is becoming increasingly popular, and properly supervised mines are much less harmful to the environment around them.

Your Partner on the Cutting Edge of Mining Tech

For more than half a century, General Kinematics has worked tirelessly to provide our clients with state-of-the-art mining equipment. Whether your facility is mining for minerals or aggregates, our vibratory process and sorting machinery is the perfect fit. When looking for the optimum solution for a safe, high performing material processing, General Kinematics will be there by your side.

Take the next step in improving your process and contact us today to learn more about environmentally friendly mining practices and equipment.

General Kinematics Corporation, incorporated in 1960, was established to market, design, and custom fabricate innovative vibratory equipment for the foundry, recycling, mining, and processing industries. Today the company continues as one of the world’s largest suppliers of vibratory processing equipment and has evolved into an industry-leading EPC firm. Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL, General Kinematics has seven global locations providing engineering and support to a world-wide customer base. GK is a third generation, family-owned company and is ISO 9001 certified.