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Coal Mining Industry

The coal mining industry is the one that gives coal, which is a fossil fuel, used mainly to provide electricity as well as in the making of steel. Similar to oil, coal was formed over millions of years when plant and animal matter decayed. But coal is a solid, unlike oil, which means that miners need to go into the earth in order to extract it. However, it is quite common, for coal seems to be found close to the surface of the earth, which makes the process of its extraction a little easier.

The surface mining of this resource generally uses a method called strip mining, which is more economical than underground mining because it needs fewer miners to come up with the same amount of coal. Strip mining involves workers using large earth moving equipment like drag lines or power shovels to remove the top layer of soil and rock that hides the coal seam below it.

After the coal is exposed, it is shattered up through the use of explosives, and then small shovels are used to load the broken up coal into trucks. The mined land needs to be restored by mining companies, which is stated by local, state and federal laws, after they are done with their surface mining. The top soil and overburden that was removed is kept aside so that it can be put back where it was in order to replant native vegetation on it.

Sometimes coal deposits are found very deep below the earth's surface, in which case underground mining is used. In this situation, miners start by digging deep tunnels into the earth until they get to the level at which the coal is found. Depending on how deep and in what direction the coal seam is, these tunnels can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. The entrances to the mines are made in such a way that miners can get to the coal seams with their equipment and carry it out, all the while with fresh air entering the mines.

After the mines are dug, the coal is extracted in several suitable methods before being sent to be purified and developed. The coal industry is an expensive one because the processes involved are extremely expensive. Underground mining is dangerous and therefore no expense can be spared when it comes to using quality equipment and the right health and safety regulations need to be followed.

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