Surface mining equipment - are equipment or machines being used for surface mining when coal is found close to the surface or on hillsides. It involves removing the topsoil and subsoil and setting them aside while the coal is removed. The following are the equipment/machines used to recover the coal:
1. Auger machine is a large, horizontal drill, generally 3 feet or more in diameter and up to about 100 feet long. It can remove coal at a rate of more than 25 tons per minute.
2. Bucket-Wheel excavator is a continuous digging machine equipped with a broom on which is mounted a rotating wheel with buckets along its edge. The buckets scoop up material , then empty onto a conveyor leading to a spoil bank . It is best suited for removing overburden that does not require blasting.
3. Bulldozer is a tractor with a movable steel blade mounted on the front. It can be used to remove overburden that needs little or no blasting.