Definitions for "Surface mine"
Keywords:  overburden, coal, mine, extract, seam
Removal of coal by machines scooping it out and replacing the soil and plant life
Also known as a "strip mine," this refers to a mine where the coal seam lies sufficiently close to the surface to extract the coal by removing the overburden to uncover the seam, sweeping the seam clean of sand and other adulterating materials, and excavating the coal for shipment to utility, industrial and metallurgical facilities.
A coal-producing mine that extends no deeper than a few hundred feet down from the surface. Material above the coal (overburden) is removed to expose the coal bed, which is then mined by surface methods such as area, contour, mountaintop removal, strip, open-pit, or auger.