"Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, usually (but not always) from an ore body, vein, or (coal) seam. Materials recovered by mining include bauxite, coal, diamonds, iron, precious metals, lead, limestone, nickel, phosphate, rock salt, tin,uranium, and molybdenum. Any material that cannot be grown from agricultural processes must be mined. Mining in a wider sense can also include extraction of petroleum, natural gas, and even water. ..."
The business of extracting ores or metals
Mining - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
How to Destroy Mongolian Mining, by Morgan J. Poliquin, Mises Daily, 20 Jun 2006
"... mineral exploration remains one of the riskiest of business ventures, based simply on the complexities of nature and the rarity of zones of concentrated metal. Mineral value cannot be quantified until core samples are taken through a process called drilling, which enables mineral content to be evaluated in three dimensions."