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ArticleName Mining, metallurgy and development of civilization
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2019.09.06
ArticleAuthor Rakishev B. R.

Satbaev Kazakh National Technical University, Almaty, Kazakhstan:

B. R. Rakishev, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Academician of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences,


The article indicates the role of mining and metallurgy in development of civilization. It is emphasized that social progress is instantly connected with utilization of natural materials. Depending on the degree of mineral dressing to manufacture instruments of labor, the ancient world was divided into the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. Further development of civilization is associated with wide application of high-quality metals to make means of production—various purpose machines. That stage, by analogy with the above listed periods of progress in the human society (by the name of the basic material in use), was called the era of top-grade metals and alloys. Two industrial revolutions happened within that era. The first industrial revolution took place when the mankind learned how to use energy of water and steam to mechanize production. Utilization of electric energy with proper technical support brought the second industrial revolution. The current scientific and technological revolution, which has greatly influenced further industrial development, is connected with high technologies and revenant equipment. Judging from the basic material in use, this stage is named the era high-technology metals and alloys. This is the time of the third industrial revolution. Integrated mechanization and automation are introduced in production processes controlled through intense application of digital and information technologies. Self-advanced the third revolution passed into the fourth industrial revolution at the turn of the 21st century, which ensured profound qualitative and quantitative changes in the field of science and technology. The latter revolution or Industry 4.0 features integration of advanced technologies and convergence of physical, digital and biological spheres. High-quality metals (various grade steel, aluminium, copper, etc.) and allows (plenty) as well as hightechnology metals (different per branches of industry) and allows (plenty) are the products of the mining&metallurgical industry (MMI). Accordingly, MMI composes a natural physical infrastructure for scientific-and-technological advance while the scientific-and-technological advance, in its turn, invokes innovation in all branches of the economy, including mining and metallurgy. Rare elements and rare earths used in high technologies are mostly contained in ores of ferrous, base and noble metals, in uranium, coal, oil, etc. The problem of their recovery for the needs of the high technologies refreshes challenges of the complete and multipurpose utilization of mineral resources. The efficient solution of this joint problem is discussed in terms of the mining-and-metallurgical plants in Kazakhstan. Here, the development and introduction of innovative technologies and equipment can improve the recovery of the rare elements and rare earths by 2–2.5 times while extraction of section metals can be increased by 1.5 times. Conventional deposits alongside with artificial (man-made) deposits become the major source for production of noble, rare and rare earth metals. The unequivocal use of the latter is a contribution of the mining and metallurgy to the scientific-and-technological advance.

keywords Mining and metallurgy, scientific-and-technological advance, era of high-quality metals and alloys, era of high-tech metals and alloys.

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