The Soviet Union occupies a leading position in the world in the extraction of coal, iron ore and a number of the most important minerals. Extensive exploration and exploration work has revealed many new deposits with huge reserves of metal ores needed by our industry.
In mining enterprises, where underground mining is carried out, the depth of mining has increased significantly in recent years, for example, in a number of ore deposits, the depth of treatment works is 1000 m or more.
With increasing depth of mining operations, geological conditions significantly worsen: the risk of mountain impacts increases, the air temperature rises, and the gas content of mines increases.
Open mining was greatly developed in the Soviet Union. In some quarries, annual productivity amounts to tens of millions of tons of rock mass, which was made possible thanks to the use of new high-performance equipment for loading and transportation of minerals and overburden. With the improvement of engineering and technology of open cast mining, the boundaries of quarries are expanding both in plan and in depth.
In the near future, the main development methods will remain open and underground. However, the geotechnological method of developing deposits is becoming increasingly important. This method allows you to engage in the exploitation of deposits of poor ores of copper, zinc, lead, etc., i.e., those whose content of useful components is much lower than the average content of currently mined deposits.
A great deal of work is being done in the USSR to improve the systems for developing mineral deposits, introduce automation, and create high-performance machines for mechanizing the main and many auxiliary processes. As a result of mechanization of production processes in the mine, safe and favorable sanitary and technical conditions for the work of miners were created. The main indicators of mining enterprises continue to improve: the completeness of extraction of minerals from the bowels of the earth — the intensity of exploitation of deposits — the timing of development of design capacities.