Mining Engineering vs. Mineral Engineering

In the early days of mining engineering there was very little distinction between mining engineering and mineral process engineering. The successful engineering graduate had to be as conversant and skilled with rock mechanics as with zeta potential calculations. However, as the work of breaking and hauling rock to a plant became specialized so too did the work of crushing that rock and separating the interesting bits become specialized. For this reason, most engineering schools have separate streams for those who like explosions and those who like bad smells.

This, of course, shows some bias on the part of the writer but one has to be a bit weird to want to walk around expanded metal platforms in a very noisy environment being assailed by fairly bad smells for 8 hours a day. But watching things blow up… well that is a Tim the Toolman past time if ever there was one!

Of course the better engineering schools will demand proficiency in both studies – mining and mineral processing. The author, of course, graduated from just such a school and takes great pride in having done so. That he is, as a result, equally ignorant of both mining and mineral processing is an observation that some have made from time to time but such observations are the result of intense envy rather than cold hard fact.

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