Mining is the extraction from the earth of materials used in different human activities (industry, trade, energy production, etc.). There are four major types of materials: precious metals and minerals (gold, diamonds, silver, etc.); materials used to produce energy (coal, uranium, etc.); base metals (copper, iron, etc.); and building materials (stone, sand, gravel) extracted from quarries, which are open-pit mines. There are two major types of activities specific to the mining industry: exploration, which involves the search for materials; and extraction, which is the activity of getting those materials out of the earth.
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