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Mining for coal
In early mines a vertical shaft was dig down to the seam which
was then exploited in all directions, giving a "bell shapes" cavity.
These mines would be worked until JUST before the roof
collapsed. Example Forest of Dean. There are many problems…
A more economical system is to extract the whole coal
seam, this is made possible by specially designed
machinery, once the coal has been removed the space is
left behind to sink, but as the subsidence is uniform it
does not adversely affect the surface.
Time Long term Short term
Developmen Costly shafts and roadways Quick
Afterwards No impact if pithead is cleared Reclaimed for farmland
Cost More expensive, but larger Cheaper to develop and operate
reserves of coal