COAL MINING BASIC INFORMATION AND TUTORIALS


Coal is mined by either underground or surface methods. In underground mining the coal beds are made accessible through shaft, drift, or slope entries (vertical, horizontal, or inclined, respectively), depending on location of the bed relative to the terrain.

The most widely used methods of coal mining in the United States are termed continuous and conventional mining. The former makes use of continuous miners which break the coal from the face and load it onto conveyors, shuttle cars, or railcars in one operation.

Continuous miners are of ripping, boring, or milling types or hybrid combinations of these. In conventional mining the coal is usually broken from the face by means of blasting agents or by pressurized air or carbon dioxide devices.

In preparation for breaking, the coal may be cut horizontally or vertically by cutting machines and holes drilled for charging explosives. The broken coal is then picked up by loaders and discharged to conveyors or cars.

A method that is increasing in use is termed long-wall mining. It employs shearing or plowing machines to break coal from more extensive faces. Eighty long-wall mines are now in operation.

Pillars to support the roof are not needed because the roof is caved under controlled conditions behind the working face. About half the coal presently mined underground is cut by machine and nearly all the mined coal is loaded mechanically.

An important requirement in all mining systems is roof support. When the roof rock consists of strong sandstone or limestone, relatively uncommon, little or no support may be required over large areas.

Most mine roofs consist of shales and must be reinforced. Permanent supports may consist of arches, crossbars and legs, or single posts made of steel or wood.

Screw or hydraulic jacks, with or without crossbars, often serve as temporary supports. Long roof bolts, driven into the roof and anchored in sound strata above, are used widely for support, permitting freedom of movement for machines.

Drilling and insertion of bolts is done by continuous miners or separate drilling machines. Ventilation is another necessary factor in underground mining to provide a proper atmosphere for personnel and to dilute or remove dangerous concentrations of methane and coal dust.

The ventilation system must be well-designed so that adequate air is supplied across the working faces without stirring up more dust. When coal occurs near the surface, strip or open-pit mining is often more economical than underground mining.

This is especially true in states west of the Mississippi River where coal seams are many feet thick and relatively low in sulfur. The proportion of coal production from surface mining has been increasing rapidly and now amounts to over 60 percent.

In preparation for surface mining, core drilling is conducted to survey the underlying coal seams, usually with dry-type rotary drills. The overburden must then be removed. It is first loosened by ripping or drilling and blasting.

Ripping can be accomplished by bulldozers or scrapers. Overburden and coal are then removed by shovels, draglines, bulldozers, or wheel excavators. The first two may have bucket capacities of 200 yd3 (153 m3).

Draglines are most useful for very thick cover or long dumping ranges. Hauling of stripped coal is usually done by trucks or tractor-trailers with capacities up to 240 short tons [218 metric tons (t)]. Reclamation of stripped coal land is becoming increasingly necessary.

This involves returning the land to near its original contour, replanting with ground cover or trees, and sometimes providing water basins and arable land.

Related post



2 comments:

Valley Design said...

You’ve provided great information in your blog. Many thanks for sharing the information in your blog.
precision hole drilling

bradshaw john said...

I like the writing style. It is just perfect. The blog post is very connective and attractive. All the information I found in post is very useful. Thanks a lot.

quartz substrate

Post a Comment