surface mining

surface mining

Coal Mines Documentary

1w ago
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Description

The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and, since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery. In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. Coal mining has had many developments over the recent years, from the early days of men tunneling, digging and manually extracting the coal on carts to large open cut and long wall mines. Mining at this scale requires the use of draglines, trucks, conveyor, jacks and shearers. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the 18th century, and later spread to continental Europe and North America, was based on the availability of coal to power steam engines. International trade expanded exponentially when coal-fed steam engines were built for the railways and steamships. The new mines that grew up in the 19th century depended on men and children to work long hours in often dangerous working conditions.[1] There were many coalfields, but the oldest were in Newcastle and Durham, South Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, such as those at Coalbrookdale. The oldest continuously worked deep-mine in the United Kingdom is Tower Colliery in South Wales valleys in the heart of the South Wales coalfield. This colliery was developed in 1805, and its miners bought it out at the end of the 20th century, to prevent it from being closed. Tower Colliery was finally closed on 25 January 2008, although production continues at the Aberpergwm drift mine owned by Walter Energy. Coal was mined in America in the early 18th century, and commercial mining started around 1730 in Midlothian, Virginia.[2] Coal-cutting machines were invented in the 1880s. Before this invention, coal was mined from underground with a pick and shovel. By 1912, surface mining was conducted with steam shovels designed for coal mining.