The Bureau of Mines has been given the lead role in planning and implementing a long-range coal extraction program that could cost the federal government as much as $450 million in the next 5 years. The near-term goal of this program is to develop technologies that will result in significant increases in production, efficiency, and resource recovery with present surface and underground mining methods. The long-term goal is to develop efficient mining methods for the more difficult or deeper coal seams. Implementation of the extraction research and development program will be done largely through contracts.
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