Coal Transport | Coal Use | Finding Coal | History of Coal Use
There are two primary methods of mining coal, surface mining and underground mining. There are over 1,000 surface mines and more than 1,000 underground mines in the US. Underground mining is more difficult and requires more miners, but much of our best coal is underground. Mining has become much safer and more efficient over the years. In 1980 there were over 220,000 coal miners in the country. Today there are fewer than 100,000. But while 1980 production was about 800,000 tons, today we produce over 1 billion tons with fewer than half the number of miners.
In recent years surface mining in Wyoming has mushroomed, making that state the leading coal producer at almost 300,000 tons per year. West Virginia and Kentucky, the traditional leaders, with both underground and surface mines, each produce around 170,000 tons.
American Institute of Mining, Metalurgical and Petroleum Engineers, founded in 1871, is made up of several Founding Societies.
Regulation: Coal mining is heavily regulated, both for safety and environmental impact, by the states and the federal government.
Energy Information Administration:
Coal Industry Annual - (PDF): This publication provides comprehensive information about US coal production, number of mines, prices, consumption, distribution, stocks, coal quality, emissions, productivity, employment, productive capacity, and recoverable reserves. Appendix A contains a compilation of coal statistics for the major coal-producing States. File Size: 2.2 meg.
|Trade periodicals and Publications:
Coal Age -- is free to qualified readers.
Coal Information Network has many coal links.
A sample of companies:
Amax Coal West ACQUIRED by PhelpsDodge -- located near Gillette, Wyoming; its
mines are situated in the Powder River Basin, the nation's largest
January 2000 update: None of the Zeigler Coal URL's were working
during this update.
What Coal Miners Do -- different coal mining methods; and historical photographs.
Published by United Mine Workers of America.
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