The Mining Division includes units that mainly extract naturally occurring mineral solids, such as coal and ores; liquid minerals, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas. The term mining is used in the broad sense to include: underground or open cut mining; dredging; quarrying; well operations or evaporation pans; recovery from ore dumps or tailings as well as beneficiation activities (i.e. preparing, including crushing, screening, washing and flotation) and other preparation work customarily performed at the mine site, or as a part of mining activity.
The Mining Division distinguishes two basic activities: mine operation and mining support activities.
Mine operation includes units operating mines, quarries, or oil and gas wells on their own account, or for others on a contract or fee basis, as well as mining sites under development.
Mining support activities include units that perform mining services on a contract or fee basis, and exploration (except geophysical surveying).
Units in the Mining Division are grouped and classified according to the natural resource mined or to be mined. Industries include units that extract natural resources, and/or those that beneficiate the mineral mined. Beneficiation is the process whereby the extracted material is reduced to particles that can be separated into mineral and waste, the former suitable for further processing or direct use. The operations that take place in beneficiation are primarily mechanical, such as grinding, washing and magnetic separation, and centrifugal separation. In contrast, manufacturing operations primarily use chemical and electro-chemical processes, such as electrolysis and distillation.
The products produced by units classified to the Mining Division involve the minimum amount of processing to produce a marketable product. The Mining Division excludes units mainly engaged in refining or smelting of minerals or ores (other than preliminary smelting of gold), or in the manufacture of such products of mineral origin as coke or cement. These units are classified to the Manufacturing Division.
This division contains the following ANZSIC subdivisions: