Mining exploration is the process of prospecting for and searching for minerals and other valuable materials from beneath the ground. The most common types of minerals that are searched for include iron ore, petroleum, chromium, copper, gold, diamond, manganese, titanium, and mercury. The possibility to mine these valuable resources has been a part of human history since the earliest days of recorded history. With modern technology and equipment, miners can extract useful minerals from the earth at a fraction of the cost and risk associated with prospecting for such resources.
Historically, exploration of the land was done by hand or using rudimentary tools such as pickaxes, hoes, and shovels. When modern technology and equipment were invented, these advancements made prospecting for and mining for minerals easier and faster. As a result, exploration for new wealth sources became more popular among European, Asian, and North American people. By the middle part of the nineteenth century, there was a serious increase in mining exploration, particularly in Australia, where huge quantities of coal and other ores were being dug up and transported worldwide. Mining exploration and mining for minerals continue today in Brazil, Canada, Australia, China, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, and the United States.