Questions tagged [mining]

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

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1answer
99 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 ...
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10answers
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 ...
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8answers
946 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 '...
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1answer
106 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 ...
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3answers
394 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 ...
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4answers
245 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. ...
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8answers
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
131 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 ...
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13answers
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 ...
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6answers
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 ...
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5answers
760 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 ...
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3answers
147 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 ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
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4answers
133 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 ...
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3answers
294 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 ...
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2answers
218 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, ...
2
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3answers
127 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 ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Extracting all water from Ganymede?

Is it theoretically possible to extract all ice and water from moons with subsurface oceans like Ganymede or Enceladus? What would the consequences of isostatic rebounding be if this was done on a ...
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2answers
231 views

How do you get steel outside Earth?

I'm looking for a more economical and efficient method of making steel for my project Death Star Unlimited, a mega infrastructure orbiting Mars with a mass of 500,000,000 metric ton give or take 1%. ...
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6answers
3k views

What is a good reason not to mine a planetary ring?

Most planetary rings are rich in water in the form of ice, especially now we are running low on freshwater reserves on Earth. Imagine someone discovered a huge chunk of meteorite consisting of a ...
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3answers
203 views

How to mine a moon made of half uranium and half radium?

Imagine one day the moon suddenly transformed into a colossal elephant's foot and we need to get to the moon to obtain sample... Could it be done using modern day technology to mine the uranium for ...
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9answers
2k views

What element, if any, would justify mining stars (financially)?

Alright so in my sci-fi a prominent corporation dominated by the Borlak species (Mantis-like Hexapods). The Borlak make their money by mining "dead systems", solar systems without any habitable ...
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3answers
92 views

SFR Breeders on Small Mars Moon feasibility

Need help with a topic for a sci-fi book. Basic premise is 200yr in future, mining facility on small Mars moon of Phobos. Power source we would like is an Sodium Fast Reactor breeder as we think this ...
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3answers
246 views

How would iron smelting work in a planet with no oxygen?

Imagine a small planet, rich with iron, but with a negligible atmosphere, mostly devoid of oxygen. Once harvested, how could iron ore be smelted and refined into iron? And would the ore itself be ...
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4answers
728 views

Will asteroid mining be economical in foreseeable future?

I see that asteroid mining had already been extensively discussed in the context of today's technology (Ex. Is Asteroid Harvesting economic?) and the answer is a definitive "No" - it's not economical ...
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5answers
228 views

What are some examples of minerals that Earth might require in the future from space?

I'm looking to know about minerals that space miners can extract from other planet surfaces or directly from asteroids. Something that Earth as a planet may need in the future.
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9answers
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Methods and Feasibility of Antimatter Mining?

Say 200-300 years in the future, humankind has colonized much of the solar system, using a combination of laser thermal drives and solid-core nuclear rockets (fusion never really panned out). ...
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4answers
164 views

Identifying minerals without sight

Properly ventilating a deep mine is a significant engineering challenge. Ergo, you don't want to be carrying around torches that use up some of your precious breathing oxygen if you don't absolutely ...
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4answers
597 views

How deep could dwarves actually delve?

Given an arbitrarily long time to do so, what is the maximum depth too which a dwarven civilization could practically extend their mines / cities? And what would be the final limiting factor ...
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2answers
557 views

How long would it take a single person to mine and refine ore necessary to smith with?

So the backstory is I am DM-ing a 5e D&D game for my players; I have just given them a forge that makes magical items if it uses a certain ore from inside the mine it is in. They have 1 dwarf who ...
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10answers
2k views

What benefits would be gained by using human laborers instead of drones in deep sea mining?

In the near future the demand for resources only rises due to both a ever growing population, energy and resource crises, and rampant consumerism. Peak oil has been reached, scarce resources like ...
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30answers
10k views

What would be the most expensive material to an intergalactic society?

Imagine an intergalactic society that has the following abilities\tech: Warp drive allows trips between stars in days and galaxies in weeks. Able to live in spaceships for long time without health ...
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1answer
61 views

Crater sized bore hole on Ceres, how would you make it economically profitable? [closed]

Ceres is a bustling port within the belt and a commercial, entertainment, and economic hub dealing with the markets of both the inner and outer planets. Ceres is home to the largest colonies in all of ...
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1answer
389 views

Mining Metallic Hydrogen

The Hegemony is in need of superconductors for their fleets of stratospheric craft (stratocraft for short) as well as many, many, many other applications. I recently read metallic hydrogen is a ...
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4answers
426 views

Can reckless idiots wake up a dormant volcano using mining equipment?

My story for a video game has some kind of "enemy" (think "the Others" from Lost—little is known about them; they have control over a small settlement or two and appear to be engaging in some manner ...
1
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1answer
118 views

Basing an economy around Coal, Slaves, and War Industry. Does it seem practical?

So right now I've been tasked to come up with a world for a story that centers around what we could probably describe as post-civil war era. Coal is a resource needed for fueling machines and modes of ...
8
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2answers
362 views

Harvesting resources from a geostationary point 100km above sea level

Consider a planet which is entirely Earth-like. Same mass, same rotation, etc. But in this world, resource-rich objects are suspended by some phenomenon at varying altitudes up to 200km above sea ...
5
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3answers
226 views

How much equipment would be needed to set up a mining colony?

Setting: a mining colony on a distant world, exporting rare-earth minerals. As in many space opera stories, the world is a shirtsleeve environment with a reasonably pleasant biosphere. Tech level: I ...
4
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2answers
355 views

Strip Mining Deimos, is it worth it?

In Warlords Mars was once home to a thriving mining business, until Prometheus cracked open Deimos that is. Now the mines have either been closed or have scaled down dramatically leading to mass ...
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9answers
6k views

How to mine the underside of a floating continent?

Background The known world consists of dozens of continents floating in an airy void. These continents range from small islands a few square kilometers in size, to great land masses up to 1,000 ...
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9answers
2k views

How to ensure the safety of a surface base on Europa?

If I have a research & mining outpost established on the surface of Europa, in which there is a small complex of buildings, how do I claim to have them protected from potential breaks in the ice (...
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5answers
1k views

How could an alien mine exist under a planet's surface without humans detecting it from above?

Imagine a human observation and research facility being built on a planet in a distant solar system. How could an alien colony exist beneath the planet's surface, staying completely invisible to ...
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6answers
2k views

Is it easier to mine asteroids than planets if teleportation technology exists?

Inspired by comments to JBH's answer to The worlds between, the consequences of instantaneous FTL. The Premise A technology for instantaneous travel exists, making it possible to travel to any point ...
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3answers
301 views

How would an underground civilization that mines deal with mine tailings?

This is based on the Silo by Hugh Howey. I don't have any spoilers here though. In that book (actually a collection of 5 novels), the characters live in an underground city, and some of them mine for ...
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3answers
7k views

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for a couple hours now but I haven't had any luck on Google though I might be searching using the wrong terms I'm not sure as I know next to nothing ...
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7answers
4k views

Would asteroid mining be worth the trouble? [duplicate]

My story is set in a somewhat recent period of time (within let's say 50 years) The material (raw metal and such) are extracted by splitting the asteroid and then sensors identify which pieces of rock ...
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3answers
566 views

Approximately how long would it take to walk up four hundred feet of stairs? [closed]

Imagine a very deep mine. You have to carry a whole lot of precious ore (say thirty pounds worth) on your back. You don't have enough energy to run, and the high heat underground is getting to you. ...
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6answers
1k views

What is a hypothetical, profitable way that the core of earth could be mined?

We know that the inner and outer core of our planet is made up of heavy, valuable metals in high concentrations. So, what if a technologically advanced, space-faring civilization wanted to mine those ...
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13answers
8k views

Where do mining “dwarves” put all the stone?

Assuming we're on Earth (or something geologically and biologically comparable). Humans are at best in the middle ages, and there's no "magic" or advanced science. Now the difference is, there is ...
4
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4answers
372 views

How to extract an object from 200 miles below the surface of the planet Mercury?

In Stephen Baxter’s science fiction Novel Ultima humans discover mysterious “kernels” which allow high speed space propulsion units to be built. The problem is that these kernels are only to be found ...