Types of Coal Mining

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There are many types of coal mining. Learn about the different methods in this essay, including surface mining, underground mining, highwall mining, and contour mining. Below, you'll learn about the pros and cons of each method. Here's how to get started in this profession! Let's look at the pros and cons of each type of coal mining and which one is the best for you! Once you've learned about the benefits and drawbacks of each, you'll be well-equipped to start a career in coal mining.

Surface mining

There are several types of surface mining techniques, including mountaintop removal and area mining. Both methods use heavy equipment to dig through the overburden and recover coal. Both methods require infrastructure for ventilation and utilities. The most significant difference between surface mining and underground mining is that surface mining is done on land. The environment is also more favorable to surface mining because there is less risk of subsidence and landslides. A surface miner will use equipment such as shovels, bulldozers, front-end loaders, bucket wheel excavators, trucks, and more.

The environmental impact of surface mining can vary greatly. There are environmental regulations that must be followed to avoid damaging fisheries and ecosystems. For example, the EPA requires surface mining operations to reclaim the area to "approximate original contours." UMWA has adopted a stricter standard for AOCs than other forms of coal mining. But the process can still cause adverse impacts to the environment and human health.

Underground mining

While most regulations regarding surface operations apply to underground coal mining as well, some are not as applicable to underground mining. For example, the regulations that apply to surface coal mining must take into account the differences between surface and underground mining, which means that these rules should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly. Further, the regulations concerning surface effects should not conflict with any existing provisions of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, 1969, or regulations issued under it. If the regulations are in conflict, they should be modified or repealed by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the rules and procedures established under the Act.

This study also found that the workers who were surveyed were aged between 40 and 49 years, lived in rural areas, belonged to the level 2 socioeconomic strata, and were married. There were no differences in educational levels, marital status, or the number of years of experience in underground coal mining, but the average duration of employment in mining was 16 years. These findings point to the fact that these employees are vulnerable to health hazards associated with underground coal mining.

Highwall mining

Methane/oxygen concentrations are the most common environmental issues when highwall coal mining, and the researchers hope to improve them. To do this, they will use computational fluid dynamics software to develop models that incorporate the depth of penetration and angle at which an inert gas is injected into the drive. The researchers will then compare the effectiveness of various gas compositions and angles for different penetration depths and angles. If successful, the new system will allow highwall coal mining to extend deeper into the mine without exposing workers to higher levels of methane/oxygen.

In highwall coal mining, the pillars are generally thin and have the potential to increase the amount of ground fall. Thick ribs reduce the amount of ground fall, and preventing excess coal recovery is crucial. Different operational factors affect the depth of highwall drives, including the ability of the equipment, the geological formation, and the methane/oxygen concentration. In addition to these, the position of the equipment is related to the pillars and coal seam, and the methane/oxygen explosions are sealed.

Contour mining

Contour mining is a method of coal mining that is used in mountainous regions. It requires the use of various earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers, shovels, and backhoes. The process is flexible, allowing people to choose to stay in the mine for a certain period of time and then re-enter the market based on market conditions. The downside of contour mining is that it produces more waste than open-pit mining, and the pits are not large enough to store waste.

Surface mining, also known as area surface mining, usually occurs in flat terrain. The surface is disturbed by series of 100-200 foot cuts. The overburden from one cut is used to fill the area mined by the preceding cut. Contour mining, on the other hand, follows a coal seam up a hillside. This method is very expensive, however, because it requires the use of heavy equipment. Surface disturbance is minimized and additional coal is produced from the highwall of the mine.

Mountaintop removal

Mountaintop Removal is an extremely effective method of coal mining, which is also known as mountaintop mining. Instead of requiring miners to dig underground, mountaintop removal allows companies to gain access to coal more efficiently, thereby reducing the number of employed miners. The Environmental Protection Agency defines Mountaintop Removal as the process of removing a mountaintop of 500 feet or more, in order to access the coal below. This method is largely practiced in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and eastern Tennessee.

Although mountaintop removal is necessary for coal mining, it has many negative effects on the environment. It kills birds, fish, and mammals that live in streams, and pollutes the drinking water of downstream communities. In addition, it contributes to climate change by destroying forests and releasing carbon into the air. Moreover, if you look at the landscape from the other side, you'll see that it's not a pretty sight.

June 24, 2022
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Economics

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Industry

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