When most people think of coal mining, they envision men in soot-covered clothes and hard hats digging at deposits in deep underground caverns. These mental images commonly include coal cars rumbling on rails as they emerge from the earth, filled to the brim with rocky ore.
The world of modern, longwall coal mining is a far different place. Yes, it’s underground, the miners still wear hard hats and the environment is filled with soot. However, today’s mining operations are carefully monitored and the entire process is highly automated.