Strip mining is employed in coal reserves where the overburden is removed in rectangular blocks in plan view called pits or strips. The pits are parallel and adjacent to each other. … In contour or area stripping, the overburden is hauled with different equipment than what digs or removes the overburden.
Is coal strip mining legal?
Legislation in the United States. In the United States, MTR is allowed by section 515(c)(1) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Although most coal mining sites must be reclaimed to the land’s pre-mining contour and use, regulatory agencies can issue waivers to allow MTR.
What are the two methods used for mining coal?
Surface mining and deep underground mining are the two basic methods of mining. The choice of mining method depends primarily on depth, density, overburden, and thickness of the coal seam; seams relatively close to the surface, at depths less than approximately 55 m (180 ft), are usually surface mined.
What does strip mining cause?
Strip mining destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats at the site of the mine when trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. This in turn leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land. When rain washes the loosened top soil into streams, sediments pollute waterways.
Is strip mining good or bad?
Surface mining (another name for “strip mining”) can severely erode the soil or reduce its fertility; pollute waters or drain underground water reserves; scar or altar the landscape; damage roads, homes, and other structures; and destroy wildlife.
Why do coal companies use mountaintop removal?
Primarily, mountaintop removal is occurring in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Coal companies in Appalachia are increasingly using this method because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams while reducing the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require.
Which type of mine is the most common type used for mining coal?
As one of the most popular methods of coal mining, the surface technique consists of five main forms: strip mining, open-pit mining, mountaintop removal, dredging and highwall mining.
How dangerous is coal mining?
Working in coal mines is dangerous — miners have to deal with toxic gases, plus the threat of being crushed, drowned, or injured from fires and explosions.
Why is it bad to mine coal?
Miners are also directly exposed to toxic fumes, coal dust and toxic metals, increasing their risk for fatal lung diseases such as pneumoconiosis and silicosis. The toll on the physical landscape is severe. One of the most serious impacts of coal mining is acid mine drainage.
What are the steps to strip mining?
Strip mining is the process of removing a thin strip of overburden (earth or soil) above a desired deposit, dumping the removed overburden behind the deposit, extracting the desired deposit, creating a second, parallel strip in the same manner, and depositing the waste materials from that second (new) strip onto the …
What are the bad effects of mining?
Across the world, mining contributes to erosion, sinkholes, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, significant use of water resources, dammed rivers and ponded waters, wastewater disposal issues, acid mine drainage and contamination of soil, ground and surface water, all of which can lead to health issues in local …
Does strip mining use explosives?
Many surface strip mines use explosives to move overburden in addition to the primary swing equipment (dragline or continuous excavator), displacing up to 35% of the overburden by cast blasting. … The amount of explosive in weight per cubic yard of overburden is called the powder factor.
What are the pros and cons of strip mining?
List of Pros of Strip Mining
- It is much more efficient compared to underground mining. Those who advocate for strip mining believe that the recovery rate of materials is higher using the method. …
- It is lower in cost. …
- It is safer than underground mining. …
- It is hazardous to human health. …
- It is harmful to the environment.
What type of mining is most harmful to the environment?
Although the effects of coal mining take a long time to impact the environment the burning of coals and fires which can burn up to decades can release flying ash and increase the greenhouse gasses. Specifically strip mining that can destroy landscapes, forests, and wildlife habitats that are near the sites.
How does mining affect humans?
Health impacts due to inhalation of PM emission from surface mines—medical evidence. PM exposure to surface mining workers lead to some common diseases such as asthma, black lungs, silicosis, asbestosis, inflammation, bauxite fibrosis and siderosis (Singh et al., 2009).