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How Is Sandstone Mined?
Sandstone is sedimentary rock composed of grains of sand that settles in one place, forms layers and combines with minerals. Sedimentary rock occurs from millions of years of sand settling on the bottoms of rivers, oceans and lakes. Each layer is pressed into the last until it turns to rock. Sandstone is the most common sedimentary rock. Geologists can identify where sandstone came from by examining the mineral composition. Sandstone ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, red, green and purple. The colors in the sandstone come from the minerals it mixed with while it was forming. Sandstone is mined through the quarrying process.
Locate the area where sandstone is found. Consult a geologist for an exact location. Find an area close to a city where the rocks can be used.
Create a safe mining plan, including the equipment you will purchase and how you will transport the sandstone. Locate or build a manufacturing or processing facility. Obtain state, federal and local operating permits. Environmental permits will also be required.
Create a buffer zone to keep the mining noise away from neighbors. Landscape the mine entrance to blend it into the landscape. Create environmentally friendly processes, such as water recycling. Build wildlife sanctuaries or habitats outside the mine to keep the wildlife safe.
Prepare your site and clear the land. Remove the dirt and rock that is on top of the sandstone you want to mine. Donate or sell the material you remove from your site.
Drill holes into the sandstone. Drill many holes so that you only have to blast once per day or once per week. You may be drilling down if the mine is new or down and sideways into the wall of the quarry if it is a pit.
Set your vibration monitoring equipment. Drop the explosives into the holes you drilled. Blast all the explosives at once. This blast will remove the stones from the quarry wall.
Move large pieces with a pit loader, and load them onto trucks that will haul the large pieces of sandstone to the processing center.
Only seasoned professionals should handle explosives.
Rebekah Smith is a writer and editor from Montana and the owner of several businesses. Smith has consulted and worked with businesses in the fields of commercial greenhouses, ecommerce, technology and home improvement. She holds a Master of Business Administration and is working on a Ph.D. in business.