how is coal mined
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed millions of years ago when the earth was covered with huge swampy forests. It has been used as a source of energy since the late 1800s and is still a major source of energy today.
Coal is usually mined in two ways: surface mining and underground mining. Surface mining is more cost effective than underground mining and is used when the coal is located close to the surface. In surface mining, the topsoil and rock layers above the coal are removed and the coal is exposed. Powerful earth-moving machines, such as bulldozers, draglines, and bucket wheel excavators, are then used to remove the coal.
Underground mining is used when the coal is buried deeper underground. Mining tunnels are dug in the coal seam, and explosives are used to remove the coal. Miners then travel to the coal face, which is the front of the underground mine where the coal is located. Miners then use special equipment to break off the coal from the wall and load it onto conveyor belts or shuttle cars.
Both surface and underground mining have their own sets of risks. Underground mining is more dangerous than surface mining, as miners have to work in enclosed spaces. They also use explosives and heavy machinery, which can lead to accidents. Surface mining can cause dust, noise, and soil erosion, and can disrupt ecosystems.
No matter what method is used, mining coal is an important industry for many countries, providing jobs and energy.