Best answer: How does open pit coal mining work?

Open-pit mining, or open-cast mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow. … Open-pit mines are typically enlarged until either the mineral resource is exhausted, or an increasing ratio of overburden to ore makes further mining uneconomic.

How does coal mining work?

Surface coal mining generally involves the following sequence of unit operations: (1) clearing the land of trees and vegetation, (2) removing and storing the top layers of the unconsolidated soil (topsoil), (3) drilling the hard strata over the coal seam, (4) fragmenting or blasting the hard strata with explosives, (5) …

How is coal extracted from an open cast mine?

Once the coal seam is exposed, it is drilled, fractured and thoroughly mined in strips. The coal is then loaded onto large trucks or conveyors for transport to either the coal preparation plant or directly to where it will be used. Most open cast mines in the United States extract bituminous coal.

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Is open pit mining expensive?

Open pit mining does offer some advantages over traditional deep shaft mining. Pit mining is more cost effective than shaft mining because more ore can be extracted and more quickly.

What is open cast coal mining?

Open cast mining involves the removal of ore from seams relatively near the surface by means of an open pit (see figure below). These mines often occupy a large area of land for excavation of the ore and disposal of the overburden (the waste rock lying over the ore).

Can you find gold in coal?

Gold occurs as palaeoplacers and in hydrothermal deposits. Gold occurrences reflect rapid erosion of the mineralized orogeny and young provenance of sediment in the coal basins. The disposition of the Variscan Orogen through equatorial latitudes made coal an exceptional reservoir for gold.

Is coal mining still dangerous?

Coal mining is still dangerous. In 2010, West Virginia had the worst coal mining disaster in the US in 40 years, when an explosion killed 29 people. … That year, 3,242 people died in coal mining accidents. Coal mines have continued to have fires and explosions, killing hundreds of miners over the years.

How do you start an open pit mine?

To create an open-pit mine, the miners must determine the information of the ore that is underground. This is done through drilling of probe holes in the ground, then plotting each hole location on a map. The information gained through the holes with provide an idea of the vertical extent of the ore’s body.

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Why is open pit mining so devastating?

Open pit mining is so devastating to the environment because it exposes dangerous chemicals buried in the earth’s crust. Open pit mining is so devastating to the environment because it exposes dangerous chemicals buried in the earth’s crust. This answer has been confirmed as correct and helpful.

What are the benefits of open pit mining?

The main cost advantage of open-pit mining is that it allows mining with more efficient larger equipment. This means faster production and mining of lower grades of ore is possible. It also means potentially bigger revenues early as the mine prepares to go underground and mine the deeper parts of the orebody.

Is open pit mining safe?

Open-pit mining is much safer than shaft mining. In underground mining, the threat of a cave-in or release of toxic gas is a constant concern. When shaft mining was the most common method of ore extraction, thousands died in cave-ins, gas events and accidents involving equipment.

Does open pit mining affect environment?

The environmental impact of mining operations. The effects of open-pit mining and mineral processing plants on the environment include land degradation, noise, dust, poisonous gases, pollution of water, etc. … The extraction process could itself modify the water flow and accelerate this transfer.

Where are open pit mines located?

Bingham Canyon mine located south-west of Salt Lake City, Utah, US, is the deepest open pit mine in the world. The Bingham Canyon pit is more than 1.2km deep and approximately four kilometres wide. The mine, which is owned and operated by Rio Tinto Kennecott, has been in production since 1906.

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Why is coal mining bad?

Along with adding to greenhouse gas pollution, burning coal emits toxic and carcinogenic substances into our air, water and land, severely affecting the health of miners, workers and surrounding communities.

Why is mining dangerous?

Mines are often home to many dangerous gases including carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon dioxide. Due to the confined spaces, these gases are not always able to escape, building up within the mine. … Following a methane explosion, consecutive coal dust explosions can also occur.

Coal mine