Having identified an area of anthracite reserves, an efficient blasting process is carefully planned out in order to fracture the overlying rock so that it can be excavated.
Overburden (rock lying above the anthracite) is removed using large hydraulic excavators or draglines, and taken away by 100-150 ton capacity dump trucks.
The underlying anthracite, called Run of Mine (ROM) is removed by excavators and transported for processing.
ROM anthracite enters the preparation plant where through a series of mechanical and chemical treatments is ‘cleaned’ of rock and other non-anthracite material and is then sorted into a range of sized anthracite products suitable for market. ROM anthracite is fed into a hopper from the ROM storage bay using a front end loader. Large rock is removed from the plant feed before being conveyed to a fixed grizzly screen and jaw crusher station that sizes the anthracite to 4” top size before feeding to the preparation plant.
The anthracite product is sorted into 8 standard sizes. Coarse refuse is collected on a belt conveyor and discharged to ground storage pile while fine refuse from the clarifier is collected in a sump and pumped to a disposal pond.
Concurrent mine reclamation is practiced – as the overburden is removed, it is taken to a disposal area in a previously mined section of the pit. This continual backfilling process ensures all reclamation remains current and maintains the open pit within permitted limits, without having to establish an overburden dump elsewhere.
After overburden is placed back in the pit, topsoil that has been stored is used to restore the mined areas to approximate original condition. The reclamation is completed by seeding with grass and planting trees.