coal mining

(redirected from Coal mines)
Also found in: Dictionary.

coal mining,

physical extraction of coal resources to yield coal; also, the business of exploring for, developing, mining, and transporting coal in any form. Coal has been historically important industrially as a source of energy, but air pollution and climate change, which the burning of coal contributes to more than other commonly used fossil fuels, has led to a reduction in the use of coal in many developed countries, and the decline of coal mining there.

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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

coal mining

[′kōl ‚mīn·iŋ]
(mining engineering)
The technical and mechanical job of removing coal from the earth and preparing it for market.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rescue efforts were hampered by the fire spreading poisonous gas inside the mine near provincial capital Quetta.Rescue workers on Tuesday managed to recover two coal miners as well as the bodies of eight others who had been trapped in the coal mine.
On March 20, it was reported that as many as 164 labourers working in coal mines had lost their lives and 300 more were facing serious injuries during the last year in various mines of Balochistan.
QUETTA -- A miner died in Harnai's Sharag area as a coal mine collapsed on Sunday, according to Levies Force.
Meanwhile, in his joint letter to the Directorate of the Coal Mines Development and the Inspectorate of Coal Mines, he said despite repeated issuance of instructions related to safe mining practices, the Khanot incident reflected lapse on part of concerned people.
In most of the incidents, labourers were digging 300 feet deep in coal mines where they reportedly suffocated to death owing to lack of oxygen, President of All Pakistan Labour Federation, Sultan Mohammad Khan told reporter on Wednesday.
Seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in southwestern China, state media reported.
order 41 coal mines there to halt production for security checks, the
Governments play a leading role in this transition, bearing the cost of physical closure of mines and labor transition programs, even when coal mines are privately owned.
According to the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation, casualties from accidents among labourers working in coal mines range from 100 to 200 every year.
PESHAWAR -- Just two days after five miners lost their lives in two different incidents relating to coal mines in Khyber-Pakthunkhwa, another mine has caved in at Akhurwal area of Darra Adam hel with three miners are still trapped after one having been rescued and hospitalised.
29 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stated that the dysfunctional coal mines in Chhindwara area would soon be reopened.