Strip mining , removal of soil and rock overburden above a layer or seam particularly coal , followed by the removal of the exposed mineral. The common strip-mining techniques are classified as area mining or contour mining on the basis of the deposit geometry and type. The cycle of operations for both techniques consists of vegetation clearing, soil removal, drilling and blasting of overburden if needed , stripping, removal of the coal or other mineral commodity, and reclamation. Area mining is appropriate for the extraction of near-surface, relatively flat-lying, and thin deposits of coal, phosphate, and similar minerals.
STRIP MINING | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Coal was likely mined from a hillside near Fort Leavenworth in northeastern Kansas as early as , the year the fort was established. For many years, this was the main source of fuel for the Santa Fe railroad, whose main line passes through Osage County. In , the first mineshaft in Cherokee County was dug and coal was excavated using the room-and-pillar system in which substantial pillars of coal are left standing to support the overlying rock. Underground mining was dominant there for several decades, and the Weir-Pittsburg coal bed became the most extensively mined coal bed in Kansas history. During strip mining operations, overlying soil and rock, called overburden, is stripped away using power shovels to expose coal beds too thin to be mined underground.
Coal is a black or brownish-black sedimentary rock that can be burned for fuel and used to generate electricity. It is composed mostly of carbon and hydrocarbon s, which contain energy that can be released through combust ion burning. Coal is the largest source of energy for generating electricity in the world, and the most abundant fossil fuel in the United States. Fossil fuel s are formed from the remains of ancient organisms. Because coal takes millions of years to develop and there is a limited amount of it, it is a nonrenewable resource.
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