See more categories

How we mine

Year Level(s) Years 7-10
Subject Area(s) Science General Science Earth & Environmental Science
Topic(s) Environment Mining EnviroSmart
Resource Type Fact Sheet

The Minerals Council of Australia is acknowledged as the provider of this resource.

Many things that people use are made from minerals and metals. In order to have these things the minerals or metals to make them can come from recycled materials or are mined. The recycling of metals provides a small percentage of the materials demanded by consumers. Therefore to provide for this demand particularly in developing countries minerals are mined and processed. Australia has large and accessible deposits of iron ore, gold, copper, silver, lead, zinc and nickel as well as the energy resources – coal and uranium. These provide over 30% of Australia’s commodity exports. The mining and processing of these minerals occupies 0.05% of Australia’s land mass.

The extraction of Australia’s mineral and energy resources is highly regulated with activities carried out in accordance with many Federal and State Government regulations.

This lesson explores the processes involved in the discovery, extraction and processing of minerals and metals.

Students find out about each process, arrange them in correct order and discuss their sustainability. It includes a student worksheet and information sheet.

Educational value statement

  • Provides background information, lesson outcomes activity sequence and materials list for teachers
  • Includes detailed information about each step involved in mining for minerals.
  • Includes a student worksheet.

Key learning objectives

  • Students describe the processes involved in discovering, extracting and processing minerals
  • Students explain how the practices applied in the mineral industry contribute to sustainability.


  • Science Understanding: Chemical sciences; Earth and space sciences
  • Science as a Human Endeavour: Use and influence of science

Australian Curriculum content statements (explicit)
Science: ACSSU116 (7); ACSSU153 (8); ACSHE121 (7); ACSHE136 (8)

How we Mine

    File Type
    File Size
    351 KB

« back to listing


File Download Enquiry