Coal Mining and Processing Mining the Coal Coal miners use giant machines to remove coal from the ground. They use two methods: surface or underground mining. Many U.S. coal beds are very near the ground’s surface, and about two-thirds of coal production comes from surface mines. Modern mining methods allow us to easily reach most of …
Coal focuses on the research and development needs and priorities in the areas of coal resource and reserve assessments, coal mining and processing, transportation of coal and coal products, and coal utilization.
Coal mining is only a temporary use of land, so it is vital that rehabilitation of land takes place once mining operations have stopped. In best practice a detailed rehabilitation or reclamation plan is designed and approved for each coal mine, covering the period from the start of operations until well after mining has finished.
Bituminous Coal – Stage Three Bituminous Coal is the third stage. Added pressure has made it compact and virtually all traces of plant life have disappeared. Also known as “soft coal”, bituminous coal is the type found in Cape Breton and is our most abundant fuel. It is greatly used in industry as a source of heat energy.
Responsible surface mining attempts to limit the side effects of this removal through several basic steps: First, the surface vegetation (trees, bushes, etc.) under which the coal seam lies is scalped or removed.
Most surface mines follow the same basic steps to produce coal. First, bulldozers clear and level the mining area. The topsoil is removed and stored for later use in the reclamation process.
Once the coal is removed from the pit the mining process is complete and the reclamation process can begin. Today, lignite coal-based electricity is a low-cost, efficient and increasingly clean energy source.