coal mining

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coal mining,

physical extraction of coal resources to yield coal; also, the business of exploring for, developing, mining, and transporting coal in any form. Strip mining is the process in which the overburden (earth and rock material overlying the coal) is removed to expose a coal seam or coal bed. Excavators either dispose of the overburden or store the waste material for replacement after the coal has been extracted. Once exposed, the coal is usually removed in a separate operation. Surface soil is often stripped separately and spread back onto the reclaimed surface. The environment can also be protected by seeding or planting grass or trees on the fertilized restored surface of a strip mine. The term strip mining is most often used in reference to coal mining, although the process may also be used to extract certain metallic ores as well. Sometimes the terms open-pit, open-cast, or surface mining are used in the same sense, although they usually refer to metalliferous mining or the mining of other minerals. Underground coal mining is the extraction of coal from below the surface of the earth. The coal is worked through tunnels, passages, and openings that are connected to the surface for the purpose of the removal of the coal. Mechanical equipment breaks the coal to a size suitable for haulage. Alternatively, the coal is drilled, and the resultant holes are loaded with explosives and blasted in order to break the coal to the desired size. In order to protect the miners and equipment in an underground coal mine, much attention is paid to maintaining and supporting a safe roof or overhead ceiling for the extraction openings. Long-wall mining is a method of underground mining believed to have been developed in Shropshire, England, near the end of the 17th cent. A long face, or working section, of coal, some 600 ft (180 m) in length, is operated at one time. The miners and machinery at the working face are usually protected by hydraulic jacks or mechanical props which are advanced as the coal is extracted. The excavated, or gob, area is either allowed to cave in, or is filled in by waste material called stowing. The Anderton shearer is a widely used coal cutter and loader for long-wall mining. It shears coal from the face as it moves in one direction and loads coal onto an armored conveyor as it travels back in the opposite direction. It is ordinarily used for coal seams greater than 3.5 ft (9.1 cm) in thickness.

coal mining

[′kōl ‚mīn·iŋ]
(mining engineering)
The technical and mechanical job of removing coal from the earth and preparing it for market.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kevin and Russ on the 'paddy train' underground at Kellingley Colliery THERE used to be nearly 1,400 deep mines in Britain, providing employment for hundreds of thousands of men and producing 200 millions of tonnes of coal every year.
Pit closures accelerated in the 1990s, when deep mines were challenged by cheap imports from low-wage economies in Russia and Poland.
Gold Fields Limited(JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI), an unhedged, globally diversified producer of gold, has reached a three-year wage and other conditions of employment agreement with its registered trade unions at its South Deep mine in South Africa.
Located on the north side of State Route 1002, near the community of Rathmel, the project area is part of an abandoned deep mine from the 1920s on the Lower Freeport coal seam.
Kellingley, North Yorks, and sister pit Thoresby in Notts will close within 18 months, leaving employeeowned Hatfield, near Doncaster, as the last big deep mine in the country.
It will begin with a walking section, and finish inside the Victorian deep mines, accessed by the existing deep mine train.
Scotland's last deep mine, Longannet, in Fife, closed in 2002 and the industry is down to fewer than 2000 people working in surface mining.
The deep mine in Kellingley was shut between November 23 and December 15 and cost the company between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes in lost production.
UK Coal said yesterday it was reviewing a merger approach it had received involving its deep mines, without naming Hargreaves as the suitor, but people close to Hargreaves confirmed to the paper that it was the deep mine operator.
LONGANNET was the last deep mine of any signficance in Scotland and was established by the Coal Board in the 1960s.
Mining and property group UK Coal said yesterday it was looking at re-opening a deep mine that could end up being its biggest pit.