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Open Pit Mining

This type of mining is used most often in mountainous areas. This is because in the mountains, coal seams are irregular and grouped together. Often times, explosives are made use of in order to loosen the rock, which is removed and initially stored outside of the area being mined. Mining is almost a vertical operation with pits becoming wider and deeper as the mining progresses.

Reclaiming the site of an open pit mine in mountainous terrain is more difficult than reclaiming a strip mine on the plains. In the mountains and foothills of Alberta and British Columbia, coal seams are twisted and faulted and usually mined from large excavations, known as open-pit mines. As mining progresses, the pits are widened and deepened. An open-pit mine typically consists of a number of different pits, which are developed sequentially.