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Encyclopedia > Strip mining

Strip mining is the practice of mining a seam of mineral ore by first removing all of the soil and rock that lies on top of it. It is similar to open-pit mining in many regards. Strip mining is also used to extract the oil-impregnated sand in the Athabasca Tar Sands.


Strip mining is only practical when the ore body to be excavated is relatively near the surface. Since colossal quantities of material often need to be removed, the excavating machinery used in strip mining is often among the largest such equipment ever constructed; drag line excavators and bucket wheel excavators are common examples.


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Surface mining - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (542 words)
Surface mining generally leaves large devastated areas called spoil banks unless the land is recovered and it has a huge negative effect on the local ecosystem and the environment.
Strip mining is the practice of mining a seam of mineral ore by first removing all of the soil and rock that lies on top of it (the overburden).
Open-pit mines are used when deposits of commercially useful minerals or rock are found near the surface; that is, where the overburden (surface material covering the valuable deposit) is relatively thin or the material of interest is structurally unsuitable for tunneling (as would be the case for sand, cinder, and gravel).
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