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|Mining means drilling and blasting in order to break down the rock, loading and transport, and often also crushing the ore down to a suitable size. These operations can be done in open pits or in underground mines, and also, to a lesser extent, in marine mining. The same operations are also used in various types of construction, i.e., for roads, water power stations, etc. Before beginning a detailed economic analysis of the factors which enter into deciding whether to mine by open-pit or underground mining, and at what point a change should be made from open-pit to underground mining, or vice versa, it is of interest to consider some general factors.|