Surface Mining

Surface mining, including strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining, is a broad category of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit (the overburden) are removed. It is the opposite of underground mining, in which the overlying rock is left in place, and the mineral removed through shafts or tunnels.

Surface mining began in the mid-sixteenth century and is practiced throughout the world, although the majority of surface mining occurs in North America. It gained popularity throughout the 20th century, and is now the predominant form of mining in coal beds such as those in Appalachia and America's Midwest.

In most forms of surface mining, heavy equipment, such as earthmovers, first remove the overburden. Next, huge machines, such as dragline excavators or Bucket wheel excavators, extract the mineral.

Read more about Surface Mining:  Environmental and Health Issues

Other articles related to "mining, surface, surface mining":

Environmental Impact Of The Coal Industry - Land Use Management - Impact To Land and Surroundings
... Strip mining severely alters the landscape, which reduces the value of the natural environment in the surrounding land ... The land surface is dedicated to mining activities until it can be reshaped and reclaimed ... If mining is allowed, resident human populations must be resettled off the mine site economic activities, such as agriculture or hunting and gathering food and medicinal plants are ...
Harrison County History Of Coal Museum - Museum Information - Surface Mining
... Spade and Giant Earth Mover (GEM), reclamation, and a model of a surface mine operation are key components ...
Surface Mining - Environmental and Health Issues - Environmental Impact
... report in the journal Science, mountaintop mining has caused numerous environmental problems which mitigation practices have not successfully addressed ...
Surface Mining Control And Reclamation Act Of 1977
... The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) is the primary federal law that regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States ... SMCRA also created the Office of Surface Mining, an agency within the Department of the Interior, to promulgate regulations, to fund state regulatory and reclamation efforts, and ...
Mining Equipment - Mining Methods and Procedures - Mining Techniques
... Mining techniques can be divided into two common excavation types surface mining and sub-surface (underground) mining ... Surface mining is much more common, and produces, for example, 85% of minerals (excluding petroleum and natural gas) in the United States, including 98% of metallic ores ... Both types of ore deposit, placer or lode, are mined by both surface and underground methods ...

Famous quotes containing the words mining and/or surface:

    It’s a mining town in lotus land.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

    Voluptuaries, consumed by their senses, always begin by flinging themselves with a great display of frenzy into an abyss. But they survive, they come to the surface again. And they develop a routine of the abyss: “It’s four o’clock ... At five I have my abyss.”
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873–1954)