Questions tagged [mining]

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

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32
votes
30answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
5k views

Using a quarry as a water reservoir

Our country, which is located in thousands of km2 of plains, needs a way to store water. Dams are not an option due to the fact that there are no mountains. We have retired mining quarries that are ...
7
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
53 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
318 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 ...
41
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
347 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
623 views

What motivation would people have for mining planetary rings?

People have proposed mining the moon for Helium-3 and mining asteroids for gold, iridium, and other precious metals. Suppose we have the means to do so in an economically-viable manner. We've got ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

How do underwater societies develop mining?

You have an underwater civilisation, be they merpeople, octopus people, partially evolved humans or not. One thing that is always considered as a necessity in the development of any society is mining. ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Would asteroid mining be worth the trouble? [duplicate]

My story is set in a somewhat recent period of time(within per say 50 years) The material (raw metal and such) are extracted by splitting the asteroid and then sensors identify which pieces of rock ...
4
votes
2answers
230 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 (...
8
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
275 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
162 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. ...
3
votes
8answers
476 views

How would juvenile humans with few tools start mining? Or is there a reasonable substitute for metals?

My story is about a ship run by AIs that carries zygotes and sperm/eggs. The AI's find a planet, test it and start making babies in artificial wombs. Juveniles are tested and rejects are used as the ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

At what rate would this renaissance-esqe mining operation proceed?

There is a group of people with about renaissance-level technology clearing out underground granite. They have no access to work animals. 700 men are working at any given time. Mining Using ...
2
votes
6answers
401 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 ...
29
votes
13answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
352 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 ...
-4
votes
3answers
522 views

Can humans survive using only minerals as food? [closed]

Can a human being lead a healthy life by consuming only mineral compounds? Mineral compounds are minerals that can be mined or synthetically manufactured from mined materials, no organics. For ...
30
votes
18answers
6k views

Why might a valued mineral be only found on one planet?

According to an answer to a previous question, it would be comparatively impractical to conduct mining on a rocky planet when there are moons, asteroids, comets, etc. that have smaller mass, so much ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

What happens to asteroids when heated into a plasma?

I'm looking to build a scientifically plausible mining laser for my science fiction setting. The first approach that came to mind was a high-power laser that heats the surface asteroid until it ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Which asteroids are likely targets for a mining base?

So humanity has finally overcome the economic problems with asteroid mining, not to mention setting up colonies elsewhere in the solar system. Some are dragging the low-hanging fruit into near-Earth ...
7
votes
6answers
645 views

Mining Suns For Terraforming?

In my story, I have a fairly advanced human race who is at the point they want to start terraforming planets. Of course, all of the materials necessary have to come from somewhere, and the proposed ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

Could rare earth (REE) strata form as magmatic cumulates?

I'm building a mining colony world with large mine-able deposits of rare earth elements (REEs). One source of REEs on Earth is alkaline carbonitite magma. On Earth, I believe, it is thought to be ...
8
votes
3answers
480 views

What happens to the leftovers from asteroid mining?

I understand that asteroids are very very far apart, but everything I am reading about asteroid mining omits any information about what happens to the waste rock or "tailings" that would presumably be ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

How can you set up a mine for the lower layers of the gas giants?

So in the story I'm writing, mankind has advanced farther in the next few decades than we have over the past couple thousand years. Colonization has allowed us to settle the planets, and the FTL drive ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

How would a war over a mountain work?

If two countries were fighting over a mountain (for mining rights), how would the warfare work? Would there be multiple large-scale battles or some sort of guerilla warfare? There are valleys between ...
7
votes
6answers
433 views

What issues would an AI asteroid mining stations have to be prepared for?

Your company has just been contracted to develop a purpose built AI. The purpose of this AI is to control a mining station that will be anchored within an asteroid belt. The space station will be ...
5
votes
2answers
352 views

Medieval Mining

How might mining rights work in a medieval feudal society? Would individual lords have the right to mine precious metals on their own demesne, or did kings typically have exclusive mining rights? ...
-3
votes
1answer
73 views

What macro-sized things can be made with a hydrocarbon assembler?

In a near future society, man will be mining asteroids far from Earth. One technology on board their ships is a hydrocarbon assembler. It takes in energy, water and carbonaceous asteroid matter and ...