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in the United States , Belgium Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting
coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata (Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half o ...

coal
from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity.
Steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appea ...

Steel
and
cement Cement block construction examples from the Multiplex Manufacturing Company of Toledo, Ohio, in 1905 A cement is a binder, a substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other material A material is a substance Subst ...
industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from
iron ore Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and ...
and for cement production. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...

South Africa
, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery, a coal mine is called a 'pit', and the above-ground structures are a '
pit head , NSW A headframe (also known as a gallows frame, winding tower, hoist frame,Ernst, Dr.-Ing. Richard (1989). ''Wörterbuch der Industriellen Technik'' (5th ed.). Wiesbaden: Oscar Brandstetter, 1989. pit frame, shafthead frame, headgear, headst ...
'. In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. Coal mining has had many developments in recent years, from the early days of men tunneling, digging, and manually extracting the coal on carts to large
open-cutImage:Road cut.jpg, Road cutting In civil engineering, a cut or cutting is where soil or rock from a relative rise along a route is removed. The term is also used in river management to speed a waterway's flow by short-cutting a meander. Cuts are t ...
and
longwall Longwall mining is a form of underground coal mining Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its Energy value of coal, energy content and since the 1880s has been widely used to gene ...
mines. Mining at this scale requires the use of
draglines
draglines
, trucks,
conveyor moves cars at Mercedes in Germany A conveyor system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another. Conveyors are especially useful in applications involving the transport of heavy or bulky ...

conveyor
s,
hydraulic jack A jack is a mechanical lifting device used to apply great forces or lift heavy loads. A mechanical jack employs a screw thread for lifting heavy equipment. A hydraulic jack uses hydraulic machinery, hydraulic power. The most common form is a car ...
s and shearers. The coal mining industry has a long history of significant negative environmental impacts on local ecosystems, health impacts on local communities and workers, and contributes heavily to the global environmental crises, such as
poor air quality Poverty is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person's basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. ''Absolute poverty'' is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic pe ...
and
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known event ...
. For these reasons, coal has been one of the first fossil fuels to be phased out of various parts of the global energy economy. Most major coal producing countries, such as
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
, Indonesia,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...
and Australia, have not reached peak production, with production increases replacing falls in Europe and USA.


History


Methods of extraction

Coal extraction methods vary depending on whether the mine is an underground mine or a surface (also called open cast) mine. Additionally, coal seam thickness and geology are factors in the selection of a mining method. The most economical method of coal extraction for surface mines is the electric shovel or drag line. The most economical form of underground mining is the long wall, which is a shear blade that runs along sections of the coal seam. Many coals extracted from both surface and underground mines require washing in a
coal preparation plant Coal is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...
. Technical and economic feasibility are evaluated based on the following: regional geological conditions;
overburden In mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized commodity that is of economic int ...
characteristics; coal seam continuity, thickness, structure, quality, and depth; strength of materials above and below the seam for roof and floor conditions; topography (especially altitude and slope); climate; land ownership as it affects the availability of land for mining and access; surface drainage patterns; groundwater conditions; availability of labor and materials; coal purchaser requirements in terms of tonnage, quality, and destination; and capital investment requirements. 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 , are usually surface mined. Coal that occurs at depths of are usually deep mined, but in some cases surface mining techniques can be used. For example, some western U.S. coal that occur at depths in excess of are mined by the open pit methods, due to thickness of the seam . Coals occurring below are usually deep mined.Christman, R.C., J. Haslbeck, B. Sedlik, W. Murray, and W. Wilson. 1980. ''Activities, effects and impacts of the coal fuel cycle for a 1,000-MWe electric power generating plant''. Washington, DC: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, there are open pit mining operations working on coal seams up to below ground level, for instance
Tagebau Hambach The Tagebau Hambach is a large open-pit coal mine (german: Tagebau) in Niederzier and Elsdorf, North Rhine–Westphalia, Germany. It is operated by RWE and used for mining lignite. The mine is on the site of the ancient Hambach Forest which ...

Tagebau Hambach
in Germany.


Surface mining

When coal seams are near the surface, it may be economical to extract the coal using
open-cutImage:Road cut.jpg, Road cutting In civil engineering, a cut or cutting is where soil or rock from a relative rise along a route is removed. The term is also used in river management to speed a waterway's flow by short-cutting a meander. Cuts are t ...
(also referred to as open-cast, open-pit, mountaintop removal or strip) mining methods. Opencast coal mining recovers a greater proportion of the coal deposit than underground methods, as more of the coal seams in the
strata (Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is ...
may be exploited. This equipment can include the following: Draglines which operate by removing the overburden, power shovels, large trucks in which transport overburden and coal, bucket wheel excavators, and conveyors. In this mining method, explosives are first used in order to break through the surface or overburden, of the mining area. The overburden is then removed by draglines or by shovel and truck. 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 Bituminous coal, or black coal, is a type of coal containing a tar-like substance called bitumen or asphalt. Its coloration can be black or sometimes dark brown; often there are well-defined bands of bright and dull material within the coal seam, s ...
. In Canada (BC), Australia and South Africa,
open cast mining Open or OPEN may refer to: Music * Open (band) Open is a band. Background Drummer Pete Neville has been involved in the Sydney/Australian music scene for a number of years. He has recently completed a Masters in screen music at the Australian ...
is used for both
thermal Example of a thermal column between the ground and a cumulus A thermal column (or thermal) is a column of rising air in the lower altitudes of Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by vo ...
and
metallurgical coal thumb , Eighteenth-century coke blast furnaces in Shropshire, England Metallurgical coal or coking coal is a grade of coal that can be used to produce good-quality coke (fuel), coke. Coke is an essential fuel and reactant in the blast furnace pro ...
s. In
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper ...
open casting for steam coal and
anthracite Anthracite, also known as hard coal, is a hard, compact variety of coal that has a lustre (mineralogy)#Submetallic lustre, submetallic luster. It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest energy density of all types of ...

anthracite
is practiced. Surface mining accounts for around 80 percent of production in Australia, while in the US it is used for about 67 percent of production. Globally, about 40 percent of coal production involves surface mining.


Strip mining

Strip mining exposes coal by removing earth above each coal seam. This earth to be removed is referred to as 'overburden' and is removed in long strips. The overburden from the first strip is deposited in an area outside the planned mining area and referred to as out-of-pit dumping. Overburden from subsequent strips is deposited in the void left from mining the coal and overburden from the previous strip. This is referred to as in-pit dumping. It is often necessary to fragment the overburden by use of explosives. This is accomplished by drilling holes into the overburden, filling the holes with explosives, and detonating the explosive. The overburden is then removed, using large earth-moving equipment, such as
dragline A dragline excavator is a piece of heavy equipment Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving Earthworks (engineering), earthwork opera ...

dragline
s,
shovel 260px, A man carrying shovels A shovel is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone t ...
and trucks,
excavator Excavators are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, dipper (or stick), bucket and cab on a rotating platform known as the "house". The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An ...

excavator
and trucks, or bucket-wheels and conveyors. This overburden is put into the previously mined (and now empty) strip. When all the overburden is removed, the underlying coal seam will be exposed (a 'block' of coal). This block of coal may be drilled and blasted (if hard) or otherwise loaded onto trucks or conveyors for transport to the coal preparation (or wash) plant. Once this strip is empty of coal, the process is repeated with a new strip being created next to it. This method is most suitable for areas with flat terrain. Equipment to be used depends on geological conditions. For example, to remove overburden that is loose or unconsolidated, a bucket wheel excavator might be the most productive. The life of some area mines may be more than 50 years.U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (1987). ''Surface coal mining reclamation: 10 years of progress, 1977–1987''. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Contour mining

The contour mining method consists of removing overburden from the seam in a pattern following the contours along a ridge or around the hillside. This method is most commonly used in areas with rolling to steep terrain. It was once common to deposit the spoil on the downslope side of the bench thus created, but this method of spoil disposal consumed much additional land and created severe landslide and erosion problems. To alleviate these problems, a variety of methods were devised to use freshly cut overburden to refill mined-out areas. These haul-back or lateral movement methods generally consist of an initial cut with the spoil deposited downslope or at some other site and spoil from the second cut refilling the first. A ridge of undisturbed natural material wide is often intentionally left at the outer edge of the mined area. This barrier adds stability to the reclaimed slope by preventing spoil from slumping or sliding downhill. The limitations of contour strip mining are both economic and technical. When the operation reaches a predetermined stripping ratio (tons of overburden/tons of coal), it is not profitable to continue. Depending on the equipment available, it may not be technically feasible to exceed a certain height of highwall. At this point, it is possible to produce more coal with the augering method in which spiral drills bore tunnels into a highwall laterally from the bench to extract coal without removing the overburden.


Mountaintop removal mining

Mountaintop coal mining is a surface mining practice involving removal of mountaintops to expose coal seams, and disposing of associated mining overburden in adjacent "valley fills." Valley fills occur in steep terrain where there are limited disposal alternatives. Mountaintop removal combines area and contour strip mining methods. In areas with rolling or steep terrain with a coal seam occurring near the top of a ridge or hill, the entire top is removed in a series of parallel cuts. Overburden is deposited in nearby valleys and hollows. This method usually leaves the ridge and hilltops as flattened plateaus. The process is highly controversial for the drastic changes in topography, the practice of creating ''head-of-hollow-fills'', or filling in valleys with mining debris, and for covering streams and disrupting ecosystems. Spoil is placed at the head of a narrow, steep-sided valley or hollow. In preparation for filling this area, vegetation and soil are removed and a rock drain constructed down the middle of the area to be filled, where a natural drainage course previously existed. When the fill is completed, this underdrain will form a continuous water runoff system from the upper end of the valley to the lower end of the fill. Typical head-of-hollow fills are graded and terraced to create permanently stable slopes.


Underground mining

Most coal seams are too deep underground for opencast mining and require underground mining, a method that currently accounts for about 60 percent of world coal production. In deep mining, the room and pillar or bord and pillar method progresses along the seam, while pillars and timber are left standing to support the mine roof. Once room and pillar mines have been developed to a stopping point (limited by geology, ventilation, or economics), a supplementary version of room and pillar mining, termed second mining or
retreat mining Retreat mining is the removal of pillars in the underground mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These depo ...
, is commonly started. Miners remove the coal in the pillars, thereby recovering as much coal from the coal seam as possible. A work area involved in pillar extraction is called a pillar section. Modern pillar sections use remote-controlled equipment, including large hydraulic mobile roof-supports, which can prevent cave-ins until the miners and their equipment have left a work area. The mobile roof supports are similar to a large dining-room table, but with hydraulic jacks for legs. After the large pillars of coal have been mined away, the mobile roof support's legs shorten and it is withdrawn to a safe area. The mine roof typically collapses once the mobile roof supports leave an area. There are six principal methods of underground mining: *
Longwall mining Longwall mining is a form of underground coal mining Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its Energy value of coal, energy content and since the 1880s has been widely used to gene ...
accounts for about 50 percent of underground production. The longwall shearer has a face of or more. It is a sophisticated machine with a rotating drum that moves mechanically back and forth across a wide coal seam. The loosened coal falls onto an armored chain conveyor or pan line that takes the coal to the conveyor belt for removal from the work area. Longwall systems have their own hydraulic roof supports which advance with the machine as mining progresses. As the longwall mining equipment moves forward, overlying rock that is no longer supported by coal is allowed to fall behind the operation in a controlled manner. The supports make possible high levels of production and safety. Sensors detect how much coal remains in the seam while robotic controls enhance efficiency. Longwall systems allow a 60-to-100 percent coal recovery rate when surrounding geology allows their use. Once the coal is removed, usually 75 percent of the section, the roof is allowed to collapse in a safe manner. * Continuous mining utilizes a Continuous Miner Machine with a large rotating steel drum equipped with tungsten carbide picks that scrape coal from the seam. Operating in a "room and pillar" (also known as "bord and pillar") system—where the mine is divided into a series of 20-to-30-foot (5–10 m) "rooms" or work areas cut into the coalbed—it can mine as much as 14 tons of coal a minute, more than a non-mechanised mine of the 1920s would produce in an entire day. Continuous miners account for about 45 percent of underground coal production.
Conveyors A conveyor belt is the carrying medium of a belt conveyor system (often shortened to belt conveyor). A belt conveyor system is one of many types of conveyor systems. A belt conveyor system consists of two or more Conveyor pulley, pulleys (sometim ...
transport the removed coal from the seam. Remote-controlled continuous miners are used to work in a variety of difficult seams and conditions, and robotic versions controlled by computers are becoming increasingly common. Continuous mining is a misnomer, as room and pillar coal mining is very cyclical. In the US, one can generally cut up to around . This may be increased with MSHA permission. In South Africa, the limit may be as high as 12 meters or roughly 40 ft. After the cutting limit is reached, the continuous miner assembly is removed and the roof is supported by the use of a roof bolter, after which the face has to be serviced before it can be advanced again. During servicing, the "continuous" miner moves to another face. Some continuous miners can bolt and rock dust the face (two major components of servicing) while cutting coal, while a trained crew may be able to advance ventilation, to truly earn the "continuous" label. However, very few mines are able to achieve it. Most continuous mining machines in use in the US lack the ability to bolt and dust. This may partly be because the incorporation of bolting makes the machines wider, and therefore, less maneuverable. *
Room and pillar miningRoom and pillar (variant of breast stoping), is a mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These deposits form ...
consists of coal deposits that are mined by cutting a network of rooms into the coal seam. Pillars of coal are left behind in order to keep up the roof. The pillars can make up to forty percent of the total coal in the seam, however, where there was space to leave the head and floor coal there is evidence from recent open cast excavations that 18th-century operators used a variety of room and pillar techniques to remove 92 percent of the ''in situ'' coal. However, this can be extracted at a later stage (''see''
retreat mining Retreat mining is the removal of pillars in the underground mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These depo ...
). * Blast mining or conventional mining, is an older practice that uses
explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure. An explo ...

explosive
s such as
dynamite Dynamite is an explosive made of nitroglycerin, sorbents (such as powdered shells or clay) and Stabilizer (chemistry), stabilizers. It was invented by the Swedish people, Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Geesthacht, Northern Germany ...
to break up the coal seam, after which the coal is gathered and loaded onto shuttle cars or conveyors for removal to a central loading area. This process consists of a series of operations that begins with "cutting" the coalbed so it will break easily when blasted with explosives. This type of mining accounts for less than 5 percent of total underground production in the US today. * Shortwall mining, a method currently accounting for less than 1 percent of deep coal production, involves the use of a continuous mining machine with movable roof supports, similar to longwall. The continuous miner shears coal panels wide and more than a half-mile (1 km) long, having regard to factors such as geological strata. *
Retreat mining Retreat mining is the removal of pillars in the underground mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These depo ...
is a method in which the pillars or coal ribs used to hold up the mine roof are extracted; allowing the mine roof to collapse as the mining works back towards the entrance. This is one of the most dangerous forms of mining, owing to imperfect predictability of when the roof will collapse and possibly crush or trap workers in the mine.


Production

Coal is mined commercially in over 50 countries. 7,921 Mt of coal were produced in 2019, a 70% increase over the 20 years since 1999. In 2018, the world production of brown coal (lignite) was 803.2 Mt, with Germany the world's largest producer at 166.3 Mt. China is most likely the second largest producer and consumer of lignite globally although specific lignite production data is not made available. Coal production has grown fastest in Asia, while Europe has declined. Since 2011, world coal production has been stable, with decreases in Europe and USA offset by increases from China, Indonesia and Australia. The top coal mining nations are: Most coal production is used in the country of origin, with around 16 percent of hard coal production being exported.


Economic impact

Globally coal mining is highly concentrated in certain jurisdictions, concentrating much of the social and economic impacts of the industry.Table is extracted from Globally the industry directly employs over 7 million workers, which creates millions of indirect jobs. In many parts of the world, producers have reached
peak coal Peak coal is the peak consumption or production of coal by a human community. Global coal consumption peaked in 2013, and had dropped slightly by the end of the 2010s. The peak of coal's share in the global energy mix was in 2008, when coal account ...
as the global economy shifts away from fossil fuels like coal to address climate change. A 2020 study found that renewables jobs could feasibly be created in these geographies to replace many of the coal mining jobs as part of a
just transition Just Transition is a framework developed by the trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of vari ...
; however, renewable energy was not suitable in some of the geographies with high concentrations of miners (such as in China).


Waste and refuse


Disasters


Modern mining

Technological advancements have made coal mining today more productive than it has ever been. To keep up with technology and to extract coal as efficiently as possible modern mining personnel must be highly skilled and well trained in the use of complex,
state-of-the-art The state of the art (sometimes cutting edge or leading edge) refers to the highest level of general development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field achieved at a particular time. However, in some contexts it can also refer to a level ...
instruments and equipment. Many jobs require four-year university degrees. Computer knowledge has also become greatly valued within the industry as most of the machines and safety monitors are computerized. The use of sophisticated sensing equipment to monitor air quality is common and has replaced the use of small animals such as canaries, often referred to as " miner's canaries". In the United States, the increase in technology has significantly decreased the mining workforce. in 2015 US coal mines had 65,971 employees, the lowest figure since
EIAEia or EIA may refer to: Medicine * Enzyme immunoassayAn enzyme immunoassay is any of several immunoassay methods that use an enzyme bound to an antigen or antibody. These may include: * Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) * Enzyme multi ...
began collecting data in 1978. However, a 2016 study reported that a relatively minor investment would allow most coal workers to retrain for the solar energy industry.


Safety


Dangers to miners

Historically, coal mining has been a very dangerous activity and the list of historical coal
mining disasters A mining accident is an accident that occurs during the process of mining minerals or metals. Thousands of miners die from mining accidents each year, especially from underground mining (hard rock), underground coal mining, although accidents als ...
is long. In the US alone, 104,895 coal miners were killed in mine accidents since 1900, 90 percent of the fatalities occurring in the first half of the 20th century. 3,242 died in 1907, the worst year ever; in 2020 there were five. Open cut hazards are principally mine wall failures and vehicle collisions; underground mining hazards include suffocation, gas poisoning, roof collapse, rock burst, outbursts, and
gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an appl ...

gas
explosions.
Firedamp Firedamp is flammable , Germany Image:Tu braunschweig 750 grad ofen.jpg, 250px, Germany, German test apparatus for determining combustibility at Technische Universität Braunschweig A combustible material is something that can combust (burn) i ...
explosions can trigger the much-more-dangerous
coal dustCoal dust is a fine powdered form of coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as stratum, rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other Chemical element, elements; chief ...
explosions, which can engulf an entire mine. Most of these risks are greatly reduced in modern mines, and multiple fatality incidents are now rare in most some parts of the developed world. Modern coal mining in the US has an average 23 deaths per year due to mine accidents (2001–2020). However, in lesser developed countries and some developing countries, many miners continue to die annually, either through direct accidents in coal mines or through adverse health consequences from working under poor conditions.
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
, in particular, has the highest number of coal mining related deaths in the world, with official statistics claiming that 6,027 deaths occurred in 2004. To compare, 28 deaths were reported in the US in the same year. Coal production in China is twice that in the US, while the number of coal miners is around 50 times that of the US, making deaths in coal mines in China 4 times as common per worker (108 times as common per unit output) as in the US. Mine disasters have still occurred in recent years in the US, Examples include the Sago Mine disaster of 2006, and the 2007 mine accident in
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Utah
's
Crandall Canyon Mine The Crandall Canyon Mine, formerly Genwal Mine, was an underground bituminous coal Coal mining, mine in northwestern Emery County, Utah. The mine made headline news when six miners were trapped by a collapse in August 2007. Ten days later, three re ...
, where nine miners were killed and six entombed. In the decade 2005–2014, US coal mining fatalities averaged 28 per year. The most fatalities during the 2005–2014 decade were 48 in 2010, the year of the
Upper Big Branch Mine disaster The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster occurred on April 5, 2010 roughly underground in Raleigh County, West Virginia at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine located in Montcoal. Twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners at the site were killed ...
in West Virginia, which killed 29 miners. Chronic
lung The lungs are the primary organs of the respiratory system in human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowi ...

lung
diseases, such as
pneumoconiosis Pneumoconiosis is the general term for a class of interstitial lung disease Interstitial lung disease (ILD), or diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), is a group of respiratory diseases affecting the interstitium (the tissue and space around ...
(black lung) were once common in miners, leading to reduced
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and other demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient G ...

life expectancy
. In some mining countries black lung is still common, with 4,000 new cases of black lung every year in the US (4 percent of workers annually) and 10,000 new cases every year in China (0.2 percent of workers). The use of water sprays in mining equipment reduces the risk to miners' lungs. Build-ups of a hazardous gas are known as damps, possibly from the German word "Dampf" which means steam or vapor: * Black damp: a mixture of
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula ) is a colorless gas with a density about 53% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide molecules consist of a carbon atom covalent bond, covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in At ...

carbon dioxide
and
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol N and atomic number 7. It was first discovered and isolated by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772. Although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Henry Cavendish had independentl ...

nitrogen
in a mine can cause suffocation, and is formed as a result of corrosion in enclosed spaces so removing
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic table), group in the periodic table, a highly Chemical reaction, reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing a ...

oxygen
from the atmosphere. * After damp: similar to black damp, after damp consists of
carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide (chemical formula CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. It is the simplest molecule of the oxocarbon family. In ...
,
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula ) is a colorless gas with a density about 53% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide molecules consist of a carbon atom covalent bond, covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in At ...

carbon dioxide
and nitrogen and forms after a mine explosion. * Fire damp: consists of mostly
methane Methane (, ) is a chemical compound with the chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics an ...
, a highly flammable gas that explodes between 5% and 15% – at 25% it causes
asphyxiation Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of deficient supply of oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic table), group in the period ...
. *
Stink damp Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the chemical formula, formula . It is a colorless chalcogen hydride gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It is poisonous, corrosive, and flammable. Hydrogen sulfide is often produced ...

Stink damp
: so named for the rotten egg smell of the
hydrogen sulfide Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the chemical formula, formula . It is a colorless chalcogen hydride gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It is poisonous, corrosive, and flammable. Hydrogen sulfide is often produced ...

hydrogen sulfide
gas, stink damp can explode and is also very toxic. *
White damp Whitedamp is a noxious mixture of gases formed by the combustion of coal, usually in an enclosed environment such as a coal mine. The most toxic constituents are carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. Coal frequently starts to Coal_seam_fire, burn sl ...
: air containing carbon monoxide which is toxic, even at low concentrations'' * A heavy curtain used to direct air currents in mines and prevent the buildup of dangerous gases is known as a ''damp sheet''. Noise is also a contributing factor to potential adverse effects on coal miners' health. Exposure to excessive noise can lead to
noise-induced hearing loss Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is hearing impairment Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear. Hearing loss may be present at birth or acquired at any time afterwards. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears. In children, he ...
. Hearing loss developed as a result of occupational exposures is coined occupational hearing loss. To protect miners' hearing, the US
Mine Safety and Health Administration The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) () is a large agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational ...
's (MSHA) guidelines for noise place a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for noise at 90 dBA time-weighted over 8 hours. A lower cutoff, 85 dBA, is set for a worker to fall into the MSHA Action Level which dictates that workers be placed into hearing conservation programs. Noise exposures vary depending on the method of extraction. For example, a study has found that among surface coal mine operations, dragline equipment produced the loudest sound at a range of 88–112 dBA. Within longwall sections, stageloaders used to transport coal from the mining face and shearers used for extraction represent some of the highest noise exposures. Auxiliary fans (up to 120 dBA), continuous mining machines (up to 109 dBA), and roof bolters (up to 103 dBA) represent some of the noisiest equipment within continuous mining sections. Exposures to noise exceeding 90 dBA can lead to adverse effects on workers' hearing. The use of
administrative controls Administrative controls are training, procedure, policy, or shift designs that lessen the threat of a hazard to an individual. Administrative controls typically change the behavior of people (e.g., factory workers) rather than removing the actua ...
and
engineering controls Engineering controls are strategies designed to protect workers from hazardous conditions by placing a barrier between the worker and the hazard or by removing a hazardous substance through air ventilation. Engineering controls involve a physic ...
can be used to reduce noise exposures.


Safety improvements

Improvements in mining methods (e.g. longwall mining), hazardous gas monitoring (such as safety-lamps or more modern electronic gas monitors), gas drainage,
electrical equipment 250px, Electrical equipment part of the distribution system in a large building Electrical equipment includes any machine powered by electricity. It usually consists of an enclosure (electrical), enclosure, a variety of electrical components, and ...
, and ventilation have reduced many of the risks of rock falls, explosions, and unhealthy air quality. Gases released during the mining process can be recovered to generate electricity and improve worker safety with gas engines. Another innovation in recent years is the use of closed circuit escape respirators, respirators that contain oxygen for situations where mine ventilation is compromised. Statistical analyses performed by the US Department of Labor's
Mine Safety and Health Administration The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) () is a large agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational ...
(MSHA) show that between 1990 and 2004, the industry cut the rate of injuries by more than half and fatalities by two-thirds. However, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety and health, w ...
, even in 2006, mining remained the second most dangerous occupation in America, when measured by
fatality rate In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes ...
.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Stats.bls.gov
/ref> However, these numbers include all mining, with contributing the majority of fatalities; coal mining resulted in only 47 fatalities that year.


Health and environmental impacts


Coal mining by country

Top 10 hard and brown coal producers in 2012 were (in million metric tons):
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
3,621,
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...
922,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...
629,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...
432,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of more than List of islands ...
410,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...
351,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...
261,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...
196,
Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and ha ...
144, and
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...
122.IEA Key energy statistics 2010
pages 11, 21


Australia

Coal has been mined in every state of Australia, but mainly in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It is mostly used to generate electricity, and 75% of annual coal production is exported, mostly to eastern Asia. In 2007, 428 million tonnes of coal was mined in Australia. In 2007, coal provided about 85% of Australia's electricity production. In the fiscal year 2008/09, 487 million tonnes of coal was mined, and 261 million tonnes was exported. In the fiscal year 2013/14, 430.9 million tonnes of coal was mined, and 375.1 million tonnes was exported. In 2013/14, coal provided about 69% of Australia's electricity production. In 2013, Australia was the world's fifth-largest coal producer, after China, the United States, India, and Indonesia. However, in terms of proportion of production exported, Australia is the world's second largest coal exporter, as it exports roughly 73% of its coal production. Indonesia exports about 87% of its coal production. A court in Australia has cited climate change in ruling against a new coal mine.


Canada

Canada was ranked as the 15th coal producing country in the world in 2010, with a total production of 67.9 million tonnes. Canada's
coal reserves Coal is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...
, the 12th largest in the world, are located largely in the province of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton () is the capital ci ...
. The first coal mines in North America were located in
Joggins Joggins is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are coll ...
and
Port Morien Port Morien (also referred to as "Morien") is a small fishing community of 700 people in the Canada, Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in the southeastern Cape Breton Island near the rural community Donkin, Nova Scotia, Donkin, and six miles ...
,
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French, Scots Gaelic , capital ...

Nova Scotia
, mined by French settlers beginning in the late 1600s. The coal was used for the British garrison at
Annapolis Royal Annapolis Royal, formerly known as Port Royal, is a town located in the western part of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Today's Annapolis Royal is the second French settlement known by the same name and should not be confused with the 160 ...
, and in the construction of the
Fortress of Louisbourg The Fortress of Louisbourg (french: Forteresse de Louisbourg) is a National Historic Site of Canada and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It ...

Fortress of Louisbourg
.


Chile

Compared to other South American countries Chile has limited coal resources. Only Argentina is similarly poor. Coal in Chile is mostly sub-bituminous with the exception of the
bituminous coal Bituminous coal, or black coal, is a type of coal containing a tar-like substance called bitumen or asphalt. Its coloration can be black or sometimes dark brown; often there are well-defined bands of bright and dull material within the coal seam, s ...
s of the
Arauco Basin The Arauco Basin ( es, Cuenca de Arauco) is a sediment-filled depression –a sedimentary basin– in south-central Chile. In the context of plate tectonics it is classified as a forearc, forearc basin. The basin has an approximate area of and at i ...
in central Chile.


China

The
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
is by far the largest producer of coal in the world, producing over 2.8 billion tons of coal in 2007, or approximately 39.8 percent of all coal produced in the world during that year. For comparison, the second largest producer, the United States, produced more than 1.1 billion tons in 2007. An estimated 5 million people work in China's coal-mining industry. As many as 20,000 miners die in accidents each year. Most Chinese mines are deep underground and do not produce the surface disruption typical of strip mines. Although there is some evidence of reclamation of mined land for use as parks, China does not require extensive reclamation and is creating significant acreages of abandoned mined land, which is unsuitable for agriculture or other human uses, and inhospitable to indigenous wildlife. Chinese underground mines often experience severe surface
subsidence Subsidence is a general term for downward vertical movement of the Earth's surface, which can be caused by both natural processes and human activities. Subsidence involves little or no horizontal movement, which distinguishes it from slope movem ...
(6–12 meters), negatively impacting farmland because it no longer drains well. China uses some subsidence areas for
aquaculture Aquaculture (less commonly spelled aquiculture), also known as aquafarming, is the farming of fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in ...
ponds but has more than they need for that purpose. Reclamation of subsided ground is a significant problem in China. Because most Chinese coal is for domestic consumption, and is burned with little or no
air pollution Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gas ...
control equipment, it contributes greatly to visible smoke and severe air pollution in industrial areas using coal for fuel. China's total energy uses 67% from coal mines.


Colombia

Some of the world's largest coal reserves are located in South America, and an opencast mine at
Cerrejón Cerrejón is a large open-pit coal mine in Colombia. It is located in the southeast of the department of La Guajira La Guajira () is a departments of Colombia, department of Colombia. It occupies most of the Guajira Peninsula in the northeast r ...
in
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning South America and an Insular region of Colombia, insular region in North America. It is bordered by the Caribb ...

Colombia
is one of the world's largest
open pit The giant bucket-wheel excavators in the German Rhineland coal mines are among the world's biggest land vehicles. Open-pit mining, also known as open-cast or open cut mining, is a surface mining Surface mining, including strip mining, open-pit ...
mines. The output of the mine in 2004 was 24.9 million tons (compared to total global hard coal production of 4,600 million tons). Cerrejón contributed about half of Colombia's coal exports of 52 million tons that year, with Colombia ranked sixth among major coal exporting nations. The company planned to expand production to 32 million tons by 2008. The company has its own 150 km standard-gauge railroad, connecting the mine to its coal-loading terminal at Puerto Bolívar on the Caribbean coast. There are two 120-car unit trains, each carrying 12,000 tons of coal per trip. The round-trip time for each train, including loading and unloading, is about 12 hours. The coal facilities at the port are capable of loading 4,800 tons per hour onto vessels of up to 175,000 tons of dead weight. The mine, railroad and port operate 24 hours per day. Cerrejón directly employs 4,600 workers, with a further 3,800 employed by contractors. The reserves at Cerrejón are low-sulfur, low-ash, bituminous coal. The coal is mostly used for electric power generation, with some also used in
steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appea ...

steel
manufacture. The surface mineable reserves for the current contract are 330 million tons. However, total proven reserves to a depth of 300 metres are 3,000 million tons. The expansion of the Cerrejón mine has been blamed for the forced displacement of local communities.


Germany

Germany has a long history of coal mining, going back to the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to the Post-classical, Post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roma ...
. Coal mining greatly increased during the
industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Mainland or continental Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be ...
and the following decades. The main mining areas were around
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect: ''Oche'' ; French and traditional English: Aix-la-Chap ...

Aachen
, the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' (" ...

Ruhr
and
Saar Saar or SAAR has several meanings: People Given name * Saar Boubacar (born 1951), Senegalese professional football player *Saar Ganor, Israeli archaeologist *Saar Klein (born 1967), American film editor Surname *Ain Saar (born 1968), Eston ...
area, along with many smaller areas in other parts of Germany. These areas grew and were shaped by coal mining and coal processing, and this is still visible even after the end of the coal mining. Coal mining reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century. After 1950, the coal producers started to struggle financially. In 1975, a subsidy was introduced (''Kohlepfennig''). In 2007, the
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition), the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group * Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake ** Diet food, foods that aid ...
decided to end subsidies by 2018. As a consequence, RAG AG, the owner of the two remaining coal mines in Germany, announced it would close all mines by 2018, thus ending coal mining in Germany.


Greece

Lignite has been mined in Greece since 1873, and today supplies approximately 75% of the country's energy. The main mining areas are located in Western Macedonia (
Ptolemaida Ptolemaida ( el, Πτολεμαΐδα, Ptolemaïda, Katharevousa: Πτολεμαΐς, ''Ptolemaïs'', tr, Kayılar), is a town and a former Communities and Municipalities of Greece, municipality in Kozani (regional unit), Kozani regional unit, Wes ...
) and the Pelopponese (
Megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, ur ...
).


India

Coal mining in India has a long history of commercial exploitation starting in 1774 with John Sumner and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the East India Company in the Raniganj Coalfield along the Western bank of Damodar River. Demand for coal remained low until the introduction of steam locomotives in 1853. After this, production rose to an annual average of 1 Mt and India produced 6.12 Mt per year by 1900 and 18 Mt per year by 1920, following increased demand in the First World War, but went through a slump in the early thirties. The production reached a level of 29 Mt by 1942 and 30 Mt by 1946. After independence, the country embarked upon five-year development plans. At the beginning of the 1st Plan, annual production went up to 33 Mt. During the 1st Plan period, the need for increasing coal production efficiently by systematic and scientific development of the coal industry was being felt. Setting up the National Coal Development Corporation (NCDC), a Government of India undertaking, in 1956 with the collieries owned by the railways as its nucleus was the first major step towards planned development of Indian Coal Industry. Along with the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. (SCCL) which was already in operation since 1945 and which became a government company under the control of Government of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, India thus had two Government coal companies in the fifties. SCCL is now a joint undertaking of Government of Telangana and Government of India.


Japan

The richest Japanese coal deposits have been found on Hokkaido and Kyushu. Japan has a long history of coal mining dating back into the Sengoku period, Japanese Middle Ages. It is said that coal was first discovered in 1469 by a farming couple near Ōmuta, Fukuoka, Ōmuta, central Kyushu. In 1478, farmers discovered burning stones in the north of the island, which led to the exploitation of the Chikuhõ coalfield. Following Japanese industrialization additional coalfields were discovered northern Japan. One of the first mines in Hokkaido was the Hokutan Horonai coal mine.


Poland


Russia

Russia ranked as the List of countries by coal production, fifth largest coal producing country in 2010, with a total production of 316.9 Mt. Russia has the world's second largest coal reserves. Russia and Norway share the coal resources of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, under the Svalbard Treaty.


Spain

Spain was ranked as the List of countries by coal production, 30th coal producing country in the world in 2010. The coal miners of Spain were active in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican faction (Spanish Civil War), Republican side. In October 1934, in Asturias, union miners and others suffered a Revolution of 1934, fifteen-day siege in Oviedo and Gijon. There is a museum dedicated to coal mining in the region of Catalonia, called Cercs Mine Museum. In October 2018, the Sánchez I Government, Sánchez government and Spanish Labour unions settled an agreement to close ten Spanish coal mines at the end of 2018. The government pre-engaged to spend 250 million Euro to pay for early retirements, occupational retraining and structural change. In 2018, about 2,3 per cent of the electric energy produced in Spain was produced in coal-burning power plants.


South Africa

South Africa is one of the ten largest coal producing countries and the fourth largest coal exporting country in the world.


Taiwan

In Taiwan, coal is distributed mainly in the northern area. All of the commercial coal deposits occurred in three Miocene coal-bearing formations, which are the Upper, the Middle and the Lower Coal Measures. The Middle Coal Measures was the most important with its wide distribution, great number of coal beds and extensive potential reserves. Taiwan has coal reserves estimated to be 100–180 Mt. However, coal output had been small, amounting to 6,948 metric tonnes per month from 4 pits before it ceased production effectively in 2000. The abandoned coal mine in Pingxi District, New Taipei has now turned into the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum.


Turkey


Ukraine

In 2012 coal production in Ukraine amounted to 85.946 million tonnes, up 4.8% from 2011. Coal consumption that same year grew to 61.207 million tonnes, up 6.2% compared with 2011.Ukraine plans to reach extraction of 105 m t of coal a year, says president
Interfax-Ukraine (30 August 2013)
More than 90 percent of Ukraine's coal production comes from the Donets Basin. The country's coal industry employs about 500,000 people. Ukrainian coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, and accidents are common. Furthermore, the country is plagued with extremely dangerous illegal mines.


United Kingdom


United States

File:GROUP OF MINERS WAITING TO GO TO WORK ON THE 4 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT SHIFT AT THE VIRGINIA-POCAHONTAS COAL COMPANY MINE ^4... - NARA - 556348.jpg, Miners at the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine in 1974 waiting to go to work on the 4 pm to midnight shift Coal was mined in America in the early 18th century, and commercial mining started around 1730 in Midlothian, Virginia. The American share of world coal production remained steady at about 20 percent from 1980 to 2005, at about 1 billion short tons per year. The United States was ranked as the List of countries by coal production, second highest coal producing country in the world in 2010, and possesses the largest
coal reserves Coal is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...
in the world. In 2008 then-President George W. Bush stated that coal was the most reliable source of electricity. However, in 2011 President Barack Obama said that the US should rely more on cleaner sources of energy that emit lower or no Greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide pollution. For a time, while domestic coal consumption for electric power was being displaced by natural gas, exports were increasing. US net coal exports increased ninefold from 2006 to 2012, peaked at 117 million short tons in 2012, then declined to 63 million tons in 2015. In 2015, 60% of net US exports went to Europe, 27% to Asia.US coal production increasingly comes from strip mines in the western United States, such as from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. Coal has come under continued price pressure from natural gas and renewable energy sources, which has resulted in a rapid decline of coal in the U.S. and several notable bankruptcies including Peabody Energy. On 13 April 2016 it reported, that its revenue had reduced by 17 percent as coal prices fell and that it had lost two billion dollars the previous year. It then filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 13 April 2016. The Harvard Business Review discussed retraining coal workers for solar photovoltaic employment because of the rapid rise in U.S. solar jobs. A 2016 study indicated that this was technically possible and would account for only 5% of the industrial revenue from a single year to provide coal workers with job security in the energy industry as whole. Donald Trump pledged to bring back coal jobs during the 2016 US presidential election, and as president he announced plans to reduce environmental protection, particularly by repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP). However, industry observers have warned that this might not lead to a boom in mining jobs A 2019 projection by the Energy Information Administration estimated that coal production without CPP would decline over coming decades at a faster rate than indicated in the agency's 2017 projection, which had assumed the CPP was in effect.


See also


References


Further reading

* Daniel Burns. ''The modern practice of coal mining'' (1907) * Chirons, Nicholas P. ''Coal Age Handbook of Coal Surface Mining'' () * * Hamilton, Michael S. ''Mining Environmental Policy: Comparing Indonesia and the USA'' (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005). (). * Hayes, Geoffrey. ''Coal Mining'' (2004), 32 pp * Hughes. Herbert W, ''A Text-Book of Mining: For the use of colliery managers and others'' (London, many editions 1892–1917), the standard British textbook for its era. * Kuenzer, Claudia. ''Coal Mining in China'' (In: Schumacher-Voelker, E., and Mueller, B., (Eds.), 2007: BusinessFocus China, Energy: A Comprehensive Overview of the Chinese Energy Sector. gic Deutschland Verlag, 281 pp., pp. 62–68) * * Charles V. Nielsen and George F. Richardson. ''1982 Keystone Coal Industry Manual'' (1982) * Saleem H. Ali
"Minding our Minerals, 2006."
* A.K. Srivastava. ''Coal Mining Industry in India'' (1998) () * Tonge, James. ''The principles and practice of coal mining'' (1906) * Woytinsky, W. S., and E. S. Woytinsky. ''World Population and Production Trends and Outlooks'' (1953) pp 840–881; with many tables and maps on the worldwide coal industry in 1950 * Émile Zola, Zola, Émile, ''Germinal (novel), Germinal'' (novel, 1885)


External links


Glossary of Mining Terms

Coal Mine exploration and preservation

Abandoned Mine Research


– overview and graphic of coal mining methods
Coal Mining in the British Isles (Northern Mine Research Society)

National Coal Mining Museum for England




– ''Petroleum and Coal''
University of Wollongong
– educational resource on longwall mining

– visual e-learning source with comprehensive display of long-wall face
World Coal Institute – Coal Mining

Global Coal Mine tracker
Global Energy Monitor {{DEFAULTSORT:Coal Mining Coal mining, Fuel production