Mountaintop removal mining

Mountaintop Removal Mining

Mountaintop removal mining

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Mountaintop removal mining is a form of surface mining that requires the removal of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain in order to permit easier access to the coal seams. After the coal is extracted, the overburden (soil, lying above the economically desired resource) is either put back onto the ridge to approximate the mountain's original contours or dumped elsewhere, often in neighboring valleys. Mountaintop removal is most closely associated with coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States.

Peer-reviewed studies show that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address,


Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining that involves the topographical alteration and/or removal of a summit, summit ridge, or significant portion of a mountain, hill, or ridge in order to obtain a desired geologic material.

The MTR process involves the removal of coal seams by first fully removing the overburden laying atop them, exposing the seams from above. This method differs from more traditional underground mining, where typically a...
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