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Coal mining has changed in many areas since the early days of commercial mining and certainly from the old boom town days of the late 1800’s. New technology and new philosophies make underground mining faster and easier than ever before. But there is a limit to how much coal is available for people to use for energy. The modern market for coal reflects these facts, and the processes used today make coal accessible and appropriate for the needs of modern society. Corrosion Resistant Metals Corrosion resistant metals will play a huge role in the future of the mining industry. Corrosion refers to the process by which metals are oxidized based on chemical reactions. Metals that resist corrosion are valuable for mining, and inside the depths of the mines, metals corrode easily over time due to all the elements that comprise the coal mines. These metals will allow workers to continue extracting coal for longer periods of time without having to replace their tools so often. Recently in Weir Minerals Africa, slurry valves were replaced with corrosion resistant valves and have benefited from less leakage and rapid wear. Proximity Detection Proximity detection technology allows mining companies to keep track of the resources and the people they work with at all times. When a person or object is in the path of a machine, an alert will go off inside the machine. This can save lives in addition to keeping the machine focused on the real targets of the operation. Proximity detection will save time and money, and has helped everyone stay safer inside the mines so far. Ceramic Mineral Processing Technology Ceramic mineral processing uses some of the newest technology to create dense ceramic components for machine parts. Companies like Ceramic Technology Inc. provide ceramic fabrications and mineral process equipment which now line mine processing machinery, reducing noise. This means the companies save time and money with improved, cleaner, and safer operations. And won’t have to use pressure machines like previous generations did. Coal mining has evolved tremendously over the years. The days of dangerous mining are now almost completely gone as miners are safer and better protected than ever with the new technology open to them. The work is now more efficient and the evolution of the mining industry has forever changed the way people participate in and view the collection of coal and other resources.
Check out these amazing photos of coal mining and its devastating effects on the landscape in Germany. And people say windmills look ugly! The photographer is Bernhard Lang. The photo gallery shows aerial photographs of the largest opencast coal mining pit of Germany. Photographed May 2014.