What is mining?

We use the general term mining to describe the activity of recovering materials from the earth. It is from these raw materials we take minerals we need or the raw material from which we win metal. Mining is a broad term, and there is more to it than might meet the eye.

In mining, we might extract the ore of a metal. After processing, we'd win the metal, be it iron, copper, aluminum, or any other metal we use (and we use most of them!). In the case of stone for use as a building material, we mine the marble, granite, limestone, slate or any other rock we can utilize. Sand, pieces of rock and other aggregate products are also mined, and they are vital to building and construction. Even if you call the activity quarrying, you are describing a mining operation. The earthen materials necessary to make Portland cement are mined. Imagine a world without cement, if you can. There is so much more.

Clay and other earthen materials are used in the ceramics industry. Glass manufacture would be impossible without mining. And let's not forget that we also mine "rocks" like diamond, ruby, emerald and the like. Borax, mica and other minerals are extracted from the earth to be used in thousands of applications. Scouring powder has minerals in it, and they were mined. So were the minerals used to make the sheet rock (wallboard) in a home or other structure. Let's keep going.
Moreover, Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or even water.
Coal is burned in massive quantities to generate electricity. It has to be mined. So does the uranium ore we use to produce the uranium we find in nuclear fuels. Mining is a broad topic, and specifics are easy to list because we utilize so many products of mining in our daily lives.