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Questions tagged [mining]

The process or industry of obtaining inorganic resources from a location.

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2 votes
2 answers
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How early technologically could manganese nodules be economically dredged if there was a serious desire to do so?

While the idea of deep sea mining has only started to see significant effort in recent times, there were earlier efforts in the 1960s and 1970s. While they were first discovered in 1868, first ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

How much mining can we get out of Pasiphae?

Pasiphae is an irregular moon of Jupiter in a retrograde orbit. It's probably an asteroid capture and is only about 60 kilometers across (compare to Europa's 3121.6 km diameter). Suppose that I set up ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 4,806
3 votes
2 answers
179 views

Rate at which jackhammer excavates asteroid

I've got a family using a jackhammer to excavate an asteroid habitat they intend to homestead in. The jackhammer is large, and would normally need mounting on a column or tripod like this mining ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Reality Check: Meteor Shower buried supermetal in the earth's crust, that is now being mined out

Centuries ago, a localized meteor shower deposited rare "supermetal" in the side of a mountain range. Due to the force of the impact, it created a pockmarked area with the metal at varied ...
LoganP98's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I determine the radius of turn a 4.6m diameter Tunnel Boring Machine could have? (im building fictional underground labs in the desert)

I have chosen this kind of Tunnel Boring Machine to make the tunnels (4.6m diameter). The curvature of the tunnels depends on the radius of turn the machine has. The idea is to build underground ...
olivia__bd's user avatar
6 votes
10 answers
900 views

What role do chain gangs play in a technologically advanced iron mine?

Somewhere in the far future, an iron mining corporation has worked an ethically questionable deal with the government in which federal prisoners are sent to the mines in chain gangs. The government ...
Ronin Frog's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
103 views

Is it possible to mine a close asteroid without being noticed? [closed]

Technology level, close future. A scientist observing 101955 Bennu calculates the rotation it should have according to the Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack effect and finds out that it does not ...
FluidCode's user avatar
  • 3,783
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Possibility of forced labour on a comet

Something I've pondered in a work of mine, in which a corrupt authority figure threatens the protagonists with being sentenced to forced labour "chiseling ice off of (insert name here) comet.&...
king of panes's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
227 views

How many different mines and extraction industries would a colony need in order to be able to produce equipment similar to what we have now?

Help me, you benevolent geology nerd! This is a question I'm trying to find a workable (but not necessarily precise) answer for a colony-building sci-fi RPG game that I am GMing for some of my friends....
Jimmy Rings's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
349 views

Geology and tidal forces on moon with Earth-life surface, but very unstable underground

I am writing a story set on a mining colony moon with some very odd geological conditions, and while this idea is admittedly likely impossible to fully make geologically plausible but I wanted to see ...
TheyMightBeGiantSquids's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

On an Earth-like planet, what geologic features would contain which important minerals (such as gold, iron, copper)? [closed]

I'm writing a book that's set on a planet very similar to earth, meaning it has all the same gravity, mineral compositions, and geologic features. With that in mind: What geological features are the ...
Curious Cuttlefish 's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would salt mines, lakes or flats be reasonably found in high, snowy elevations?

I have multiple regions in my fantasy kingdom one of which is largely high elevation tundra, ice fields and snow covered mountains (the ice fields and tundra are not in the same area of the region). I ...
AJ Wilder's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
293 views

Where would an interstellar society mine phosphorous and rare earth metals?

I know that rare earth metals aren't too rare and the name is mainly due to their low density. I also know that phosphorous is comparatively rare but is hyper concentrated on Earth due to its ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

How to tunnel to a planet’s core

One of the main problems with creating a magnetic field around Mars, (which would be necessary for terraforming the planet) is that most proposed systems require some artificial device to sustain it. (...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,605
2 votes
2 answers
177 views

How difficult would it be to find today a meteorite impacted on a mountain during the Middle Ages?

I have the following scenario: a large group of enslaved people (one hundred or so?) looking for a meteorite on a mountain. It struck at some point in the Middle Ages. It is an asteroid of unknown ...
Charybdis's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
131 views

What types of environments and geographic features can uranium be found in? [closed]

There is a magic society, created by sorcerers to escape persecution. Their society is isolated from the main kingdoms, though they eventually will trade with them again in less than a few decades. ...
Crafter's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What might happen to plastic after millions of years of geological activity?

I'm considering a worldbuilding exercise focusing on a "second generation" civilization, which arises after a previous civilization from millions of years ago either died off or left the ...
A.E. Stephenson's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
881 views

What are the best places in the solar system to mine for fission fuel?

Aliens show up in a generation ship. They don't particularly care about living on a planet specifically, and they don't have any interest in conquering Earth for our land or our water or our ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
387 views

How to properly mine an explosive ore

In my world, there is a dangerous ore that is very explosive if struck harshly, making picaxes useless. Despite this, the kingdoms want to mine it to clear room for construction, and use the substance ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 2,591
3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Making plutonium and tritium nuclear fuel with N.I.C.E. (Nuclear Ice Contained Explosions)

I want to produce fissile material. I want to produce a lot of fissile material. Fortunately, I read the Wikipedia page on Ted Taylor. It states that: Apart from bombs, Taylor also explored concepts ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
7 votes
6 answers
491 views

Aluminum in a renaissance era civilization

While trying to figure out how a civilization with 16-17th century technology could make airships I started to wonder how the wide availability of aluminum would affect a civilization. In our timeline ...
Boo Radley's user avatar
  • 1,196
2 votes
5 answers
149 views

How could large scale mining operations render an arid region unlivable?

A story I am working on sees the characters returning to a fairly arid planet that was mined heavily by an interplanetary corporation. This left most of the planet uninhabitable and forced the local ...
user16768946's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
200 views

What is the ideal 'mouth' shape for rock eating robots?

The question is literally the tittle above. You're wasting your time reading this. For context: The planet Abios is inhabited by a race of sentient robots. They're mechanical. They need infrastructure ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
7 answers
546 views

Could the extraction of rare earth elements (REE) be more efficient on asteroids as opposed to on earth?

Could we mine or extract REEs in asteroids more easily than on earth? The following conditions apply: Ease of extraction does not include getting to the asteroid or transferring materials back to ...
Englishman Bob's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
264 views

In my story, a new metal is found, but an overlooked mineral is in the ore of the metal. Why wouldn't prospectors be able to identify it?

The story takes place in the far future. It involves space exploration and inhabiting new planets. The new overlooked mineral is an "associated mineral" - it occurs where the new metal is ...
itumel's user avatar
  • 53
1 vote
3 answers
215 views

What could be ethical reasons for deep sea mining? [closed]

Unfortunately in real-life on our planet (Earth) deep sea mining for rare earth minerals is devastating to biological ecosystems and has very little motivations beyond the capitalistic/industrial ones,...
nights's user avatar
  • 119
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

Building a Dyson sphere while preserving moons/other objects?

Humans want to build a Dyson sphere around the Sun. They have noticed that Ganymede's icy composition would be perfect for mining to get the icy resources needed to build the sphere, or Mercury could ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 1,009
6 votes
1 answer
318 views

Is this asteroid realistic?

I would like to know if the following properties of this asteroid are realistic without conflicting with each other. situated in the inner part of the asteroid belt in the Solar System S-type ...
Duncan Drake's user avatar
  • 3,830
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

What material could be found (Mining) on this planet? What could I do to have more important materials on this planet?

The planet is Earth-like with gravity: 1.05 Earth's, an Atmosphere of N2: 94% / H2O: 1% / CO2: 1% / Ar: 3% / 1% Other gases with 1 atm pressure at sea level, 40% of the land is H2O water, there is ...
Khalid's user avatar
  • 543
1 vote
2 answers
265 views

How feasible is it for one Medieval-era man to mine ore in real life?

I've been curious about just how well RPG mining would compare to real world mining. Assuming the proper ore was visible on the surface (therefore easy to find), how well would ol' John be able to ...
Alarec Scarbrow's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
172 views

Would drilling up magma be a viable method to obtain resources?

Would drilling up magma be a viable method to obtain resources? The way this drilling up of magma works is by drilling a hole 0.5-2 meters wide. Magma come up & once it is a few 100 meters below ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
3 votes
1 answer
144 views

What are some non-military reasons for a country wanting to control an impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be?

Let's say that there's a 2-million-year-old impact crater where the Strait of Gibraltar used to be, and that there's an impact peak or a series of impact peaks in the middle that are far enough above ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
13 votes
5 answers
857 views

What is a plausible way to maximize the amount of NATIVE silver deposits in a given area?

I have a region on a 'Eurasia' style continent that is surrounded by large mountains. The reason that I came up with was a very dense and volcanically active microplate that was being compressed on ...
Viable_Beret's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Can cold thrusters be improved for work in space

This belter got Mr.X thinking and it is a stroke of genius this time. What do we do with all that oxygen we get when extracting metals from their oxides? we liquify and use them as a reactive mass of ...
MolbOrg's user avatar
  • 6,490
21 votes
10 answers
3k views

Delivery of minerals to Earth from the asteroids by artificial meteorite or solid metal glider

Scenario Mining of asteroids is a successful venture in the future. However much of the resulting mineral yield is required on Earth and the problem is delivery. Carrying thousands or millions of tons ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
1k views

Asteroid mining and Newton's 3rd law

Imagine mankind has established mining facilities on NEOs Some of them send raw ore directly to other processing stations in space, others refine on site. All of them use a system based on cargo '...
Duncan Drake's user avatar
  • 3,830
-4 votes
1 answer
120 views

How long until my army men can produce metal? [closed]

After a bit of fighting, both green and tan team army men decide that they need more than plastic bullets to defeat each other, they want metal to make super armored metal tanks. Green team sets up ...
Ceramicmrno0b's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
447 views

Is the composition of the major asteroid belt bodies different enough to make trade between colonies worthwhile?

For my question I'm assuming that we're talking about colonies on the very biggest bodies that are 100s of kms in size. I'm assuming that by this point humans have become cyborgified/roboticized ...
Axion's user avatar
  • 1,154
6 votes
4 answers
294 views

Using pre-steam technology how can a large bore tunnel be used to drain a lake from below?

General scenario A planet similar to Earth but with only 1% of Earth’s water supports a civilization with pre-steam levels of technology that live near a river on the south side of a mountain range. ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.6k
21 votes
8 answers
2k views

Most efficient way to break up planets for material harvesting

Rocky planets are terrible. Convenient Earth like planets are rare, but most are too cold or too hot. They are covered with sand. I don't like sand. It's coarse, and rough, and irritating, and it gets ...
SurpriseDog's user avatar
  • 3,880
4 votes
1 answer
165 views

How fast can one mine talc?

A bit of background for this question first. I am working on a high fantasy universe that I have been expanding quite a bit over the months. I have three generic species: Men, Dwarves, and Elves. All ...
John's user avatar
  • 51
18 votes
14 answers
5k views

How to decide if a Planet is better off to be Terraformed or Stripmined?

In Science Fiction, when civilizations grow powerful enough to conquer the planet and are in need for room, they turn to the planets in outer space. Obviously, the other planets have very different ...
CYCLOPSCORE's user avatar
  • 2,943
9 votes
6 answers
1k views

How could a world develop where it was necessary to mine all soil for agricultural use

I want to create a world were soil mining is a major industry. Imagine a vaguely Earth sized world where almost the entire surface of the planet is under, ocean, ice caps or is a hot or cold desert ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.6k
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Discovery of advanced titanium alloys by medieval civilization?

Within the backstory of my world, I’m trying to justify the preeminence of a smaller nation as a result of its abilities with metalworking. We’re working under the assumption that this nation happens ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 78
3 votes
3 answers
233 views

What would make people choose open-pit quarrying instead of tunnel mining? [closed]

I want to describe a mining town, but I envision the tunnel-type of mine, not an open quarry. All the stones/minerals that fits with the world, however, seem to have been typically extracted from open ...
Rose_O_Squared's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

What effects would large-scale hydraulic mining have on the landscape?

Premise/question Hydraulic mining is the process of spraying high-pressure jets of water into the ground to dislodge sediment and rocks. The muddy water from this is directed into sluices where ...
pg4919's user avatar
  • 539
3 votes
4 answers
203 views

How would someone actively search for titanium ores or other minerals?

I'm working on a story where the main character has to search for titanium (or rather ores containing titanium) in order to repair the hull of a ship. She's on a habitable world that's essentially a ...
Wayward Astronaut's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
398 views

Would a glass chisel be possible?

In a society, where everything is made up of glass, everything would break rather easily. Things like swords and mallets couldn't function in such a world. As to still have something o work with, I ...
Mat NX's user avatar
  • 261
3 votes
2 answers
241 views

Most cost effective way of mining a giant cube tungsten

A cube of pure tungsten, 1000 feet wide on each side, sits flat in the middle of a grassy field on Earth. The owner of the field wishes to sell the tungsten. What is the most cost effective method, ...
Pink Sweetener's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
250 views

Logistics of how to mine an asteroid [duplicate]

How would one go about mining an asteroid in a broad sense? This question not in the mining itself, but location of the mining. Say you have located an asteroid in that would like to mine. Which ...
Englishman Bob's user avatar