Coal Mining

1556 Words7 Pages
Coal mining is not only a dangerous job, but also life threatening and deadly. Many accidents have happened over the years and coal mining is less popular than it was when it first started. Even though today fifty percent of our electricity is powered by coal. There are four different types of coalmines, each very different. The first type are drift or slope mines, they are driven into valley walls near seams of coal. The second types of mines are shaft mines, these types of mines use pumps to remove water. Boreholes are drilled to relieve water pressure for safer mining. The third types of mines are surface mines. Surface mines use draglines, which can remove up to 200ft of coal in a single pass. A dragline is a machine used in surface…show more content…
The United States on average mines about 950 million tons of coal each year. The coal mine with the most production is the Thunder Basin Coal CO. The Black Thunder mine is in Wyoming, which in 1994 produced 31,651,762 tons of coal. The average weekly pay for a coal miner is $903.76 and about $39,067.60 per year. You can surface mine on both mountains and plains. Coal is a fossil fuel, because it was formed from the remains of vegetation that grew as long as 400 million years ago. A fossil fuel is a naturally occurring fuel of organic nature, such as coal, crude oil and natural gases. It is often referred to as “buried sunshine” because the plants which formed coal captured energy from the sun through photosynthesis to create the compounds that makes up plant tissue. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants convert light to energy by transforming carbon dioxide and water into carbon hydrates. There are about 267 billion tons or, thirteen percent, of known American reserves in the United States. The most important element in the plant material is carbon, which gives coal most of its energy. Most of the coal today was formed about 300 million years ago, when steamy swamps covered most of the earth. As plants and trees died, their remains sank to the bottom of the swampy areas, accumulating layer upon layer and eventually forming a soggy dense material called peat. Peat is a
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