MINING INDUSTRY (a. mining industry; n. Bergbau, Montanindustrie; f. industrie miniere; and. industria minera) – a set of industries engaged in exploration and production (mining) of minerals, as well as their primary processing and obtaining a semi-finished product (mining industry).
In the mining industry, the main groups of industries are distinguished: mineral energy raw materials (oil industry, gas industry, coal industry, peat industry, shale industry, uranium industry, geothermy); ores of ferrous and alloying metals (iron ore industry, manganese ore industry, chromite industry, tungsten industry, molybdenum industry, vanadium industry); non-ferrous metal ores (aluminum industry, copper industry, nickel industry, tin industry, lead-zinc industry, antimony industry); mining and chemical industry (extraction of apatite, potash salts, nepheline, saltpeter, sulfur pyrites, boric ores, phosphate raw materials); non-metallic industrial raw materials and building materials – graphite, asbestos (asbestos industry), gypsum, clay, granite, dolomite, limestone, quartz, kaolin, marl, chalk, feldspar; precious and ornamental stones (diamond industry); hydromineral (mineral groundwater).
The development of the mining industry and the location of its branches are due to both natural (the presence of sufficient mineral resources of the required quality in the bowels) and socio-economic factors. In pre-socialist formations, the development of the mining industry was spontaneous. Mining industries began to take shape in the 16th-18th centuries. on the basis of the disintegration of medieval handicrafts, the transformation of miners-artisans into hired workers and the emergence of capitalist mining and mining and metallurgical manufactories. For individual branches of the mining industry, this process ended with the development of capitalist relations (late 18th century through the first half of the 19th century). The industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. served as an incentive to increase the extraction of mineral raw materials, which included until the 2nd half of the 19th century. only solid minerals. With the development of metallurgy, the demand for ore and coal for coke burning and the use of mineral fuel in the redistribution increased.
Steam power has become an even larger consumer of coal. A large amount of coal was required by rail transport. The demand for precious metals also increased. All this led to the rapid development of the relevant branches of the mining industry. The average annual world production of mining products increased in the 60s. 19th century to 225.3 million tons compared with the average annual production of 17.3 million tons for the first 20 years of the 19th century. During these years, the coal industry accounted for 80-83% of all mined products of the mining industry.
Europe occupied the leading position in the extraction of coal and other types of minerals.
Between 1820 and 1850, Britain alone accounted for an average of about 65% of the world’s production of coal and tin ore, and about 50% of iron, copper, and lead ores. In 1860-70, the share of Europe continued to prevail in the extraction of coal, iron, manganese, lead and tin ores, phosphorites, and native sulfur. In the 70s. 19th century thanks to the rapid development of the countries of Central Europe and the United States, the share of UK coal products has decreased to 52% of world coal production.
The use of mineral raw materials acquired an enormous scale at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, during the transition of the industrially developed capitalist countries to imperialism. The predominance of certain types of energy raw materials in the world capitalist economy caused fundamental changes in the structure of the world mining industry. In the 20th century, industrial oil and gas production began to develop rapidly. The concentration of production is sharply increasing in the mining industries, and large mining monopolies are being created in the capitalist countries. In 1893, the Rhenish-Westphalian Coal Syndicate was formed in Germany, which in 1910 controlled 94.5 percent of Ruhr coal production. The mining industry quickly monopolized in the USA, whose share in the world mining production increased from 2.4% at the beginning of the 19th century to 2.4%. up to 42% by the beginning of the 1st World War 1914-18. The expansion of demand for mineral raw materials in the face of increased competition led to an intensive search for new, cheaper sources.
The monopolies of the imperialist states paid special attention to the mineral wealth of the colonial and dependent countries, where there were many untapped mineral reserves and cheap labor. As a result, in the period preceding the 1st World War (1900-13), there was a tendency to reduce the share of Europe in the extraction of its traditional minerals. A significant role in this was played by the discovery and development of new deposits of manganese ores in India, phosphorus
commodities in North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia), non-ferrous metal ores in Latin America (Peru, Chile), development of bauxite mining in the USA and complex copper-nickel ores in Canada, bringing into operation large sulfur deposits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Since the mid-1920s, at the first stage of the general crisis of capitalism, when the struggle between the monopolies of the imperialist states for sources of raw materials and the most profitable spheres of capital investment intensified, there was a further decline in the share of Europe in the world production of iron ores and non-ferrous metal ores (copper , lead, zinc), this region finally lost its role as the largest supplier of tin and phosphorites. At that time, the share of the United States in the extraction of copper ores (due to the development of the copper ore industry in African countries) and bauxite decreased as a result of the development by American capital of large deposits discovered in 1915 in the Netherlands Guiana (modern Suriname) and in 1917 in British Guiana (modern Suriname). Guyana). The share of the countries of South America, Asia and Africa has significantly increased in the total production of the mining industry. South America is becoming a major supplier of oil (mainly due to the development of the rich deposits of the Lake Maracaibo basin in Venezuela), ores of copper, lead, and zinc.
The share of Asia in coal mining is increasing (expanding the exploitation of deposits in China, Japan, India), oil (deposits in Indonesia, Iran and Iraq), iron ore (deposits in India and China), lead ore (deposits in Burma), graphite (deposits in Korea). Exploration work has begun on the African continent and rich deposits of manganese ores are being developed on the Gold Coast (modern Ghana) and in the Union of South Africa (modern South Africa), extensive industrial development of diamond deposits in the Congo and the Gold Coast is underway, the development of new iron ore deposits in the northern, western and southern Africa; deposits of uranium-radium ores were discovered in the Congo. The influence of the monopolies in the mining industry has increased even more. In the early 30s of the 20th century in the USA, one company combined 50% of oil production, 4 companies – 60% of iron ore production, 6 companies – 90% of anthracite production. In Germany, 10 companies concentrated 45% of coal mining. Bauxite mining and aluminum production in the USA and Canada were the monopoly of the largest aluminum trust “Aluminium Comp. of America” (“ALCOA”). In the UK, Germany and France, aluminum production was monopolized by 85-90%, and almost all production belonged to one company in each of these countries.
At the second stage of the general crisis of capitalism, which began in the late 1930s and early 1940s, there was a further intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions between the United States and Western Europe in the field of providing sources of mineral raw materials. During the years of World War II (1939-45), in countries whose territories were not covered by military operations, there was an increase in the extraction of mineral raw materials (mainly due to the loading of reserve capacities and the involvement in the operation of lower-grade ores). After the war, mining in the leading capitalist states, especially the United States, began to decline. In 1948, signs of a rapidly growing economic crisis emerged. Coal mining in the capitalist countries decreased by 12.5% in 1948-49, continuing to decline in subsequent years