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The history and future of longwall mining in the United States.
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9316, 1992 jan; :1-26
This U.S. Bureau of Mines report chronicles the historical development of longwall mining in the United States and speculates on future developments to the turn of the century. The involvement and contributions made by the Bureau during these developments are also discussed. Two major periods of history are analyzed: (1) from 1875 to 1950 when small advancing faces were operated manually, and (2) from 1950 to 1990 when mechanized extraction and powered roof supports provided a system to efficiently extract large coal panels. Five eras of technological development during the modern period are described and analyzed. These eras discuss the development of (1) mechanized extraction, (2) powered roof supports, (3) high-capacity roof supports, (4) shield supports, and (5) system automation. Current trends are analyzed in terms of longwall utilization, face production, support capacity, face widths, and new technological developments. From these analyses, the future of longwall mining to the year 2000 is speculated. It is concluded that longwall mining will continue to grow in importance during the next decade and that the next major technological milestone will be the realization of a fully automated longwall mining system.
History; Mechanization; Extraction; Roofs; Supports; Production; Automation; Economic-factors; Utilization; Coal-mining; Longwall-mining
IH; Information Circular
NTIS Accession No.
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9316
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division