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International Coal Mining Day 2022: Know its history and significance

Coal mining became significantly important during the Industrial revolution between 1760 and 1840 when coal was used on a large scale to fuel stationary and locomotive engines and heat buildings.

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Tuesday, May 03, 2022, 05:03 PM IST

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Coal Miners Day is observed every year on 4 May to highlight the toughest profession and the people working in coal mines. On this day several organizations and communities raise funds and awareness for other organizations in the coal mining area and workers.

On this day show appreciation for the sacrifices, honour the accomplishments, and remember the tragedies that these hardworking individuals experience. No doubt mining is the most dangerous job and miners put their lives at risk while working in coal mines every day.

History and Significance

Coal mining became significantly important during the Industrial revolution between 1760 and 1840 when coal was used on a large scale to fuel stationary and locomotive engines and heat buildings.

Coal is a natural resource that accelerates both economic and social development.

In India, coal mining began in the year 1774 when John Summer and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the East India Company started commercial exploration in the Raniganj Coalfield along the western banks of the Damodar river.

Demand for coal increased after the introduction of steam locomotives by railways in 1853.

At present, India has become one of the top reserves of coal, oil, natural gas, and metallic and non-metallic minerals like Bauxite, Dolomite, Fluorspar, Gypsum, Iron Ore, Limestone, Copper, Asbestos, and Zinc. Mining has constituted a big part of India’s economy.

Coal is a basic form of energy. It is solid carbon-rich material and one of the most important primary fossil fuels. The ten leading countries in coal production are China, the United States, India, Australia, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Colombia, and Ukraine.

Types of coal mining

Surface mining: It is used to produce most of the coal in the US as it is less expensive than underground mining. In this type of mining, giant machines remove the top soil and layers of rock to expose large beds of coal. Once the mining is done, the dirt and rock are returned to the pit, the topsoil is replaced and the area is replanted.

Underground mining: Underground or deep mining is done when the is removed from several hundred feet below the surface. Some underground mines are as much as 1,000 feet deep. To remove coal from these mines, miners ride the elevators down deep mine shafts where they run machines that dig out the coal.

Even today, coal miners continue to work in an environment that is inherently toxic and unhealthy. They still go through health impairments and a shorter life span than others.

(with sources inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, May 03, 2022, 05:03 PM IST