Article InformationEdit

Title: Coal Mining Design and Environmental Sustainability

Author(s): John Craynon

Affiliation: Virginia Tech

Presented At: STiS 2008

Primary Topic Area: Energy Policy


It is widely recognized that coal is and will continue to be a crucial element in a modern, balanced energy portfolio, providing a bridge to the future as an important low cost and secure energy solution to sustainability challenges. The global coal and energy production industries have recently begun a major effort to identify and accelerate the deployment and further development of innovative, advanced, efficient, cleaner coal technologies. A number of coal producers are also involved in sustainable development activities, including economic support of communities and regions and environmental protection and restoration. These companies have corporate sustainable development policies and guidelines in place that provide guidance for operations, and some report annually on their contributions to sustainability.

This presentation will discuss the integration of public policy, law, environmental management and engineering, particularly as it relates to the recovery of coal resources. The legal, social and environmental requirements for mining operations need to be integral parts of optimization of the mining and reclamation plan just as the grade of the coal and other more traditional mining engineering considerations. Such a systematic approach is necessary in order to achieve economic and environmental sustainability, sound environmental protection and restoration, and effective, efficient and economically-sound mining and reclamation. The potential for development of a mathematical approach to optimize this process will also be examined.

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