The mineral resource base of industry is the mineral resources in the bowels of the earth identified as a result of exploration. Thus, the basis of the mineral resource base is the identified mineral deposits.
Mineral resources, which at a given level of development of science and technology can be quite effectively extracted from the bowels of the earth and used in industrial production, are called minerals.
Minerals used by industry are usually divided into the following three groups:
I. Combustible minerals (coal, oil shale, peat, oil, natural gas).
II. Mineral minerals (ferrous, non-ferrous, noble and rare metals).
III. Non-metallic minerals (raw materials for the chemical industry, building materials, non-metallic raw materials for ferrous metallurgy).
From an economic point of view, every field is characterized primarily by the quality of the mineral and its quantitative reserves.
According to the degree of exploration and knowledge, the reserves of mineral deposits are divided into three categories:
Category A reserves are fully explored, explored and prepared for production; they are intended for the operational operations of enterprises, as well as for the design and construction of enterprises.
Category B reserves are geologically sound, relatively explored and contoured by mine workings and boreholes. They can be taken as a basis for substantiating the design of capital construction of mining enterprises.
The reserves of category C are less studied, they need to be clarified with the help of detailed exploration work, they are used for long-term planning of the development of the mining industry and exploration work.
In addition, the reserves of mineral deposits are divided into two groups: geological and industrial. In turn, geological reserves are divided into balance and off-balance.
Balance – reserves that at a given level of development of science and technology can be extracted from the bowels of the earth with sufficient efficiency.
Off-balance – reserves that at this stage from an economic point of view it is impractical to extract from the bowels of the earth. With the development of science and technology, with the advent of new, more advanced technologies, off-balance reserves can be transferred to the balance sheet category.