Surface mining simulator for application in steep slope topography
A surface mining simulator has been developed for application in steep slope topography. The simulator is designed to model haulback mining, as commonly practiced in Appalachian areas, and is applicable to contour mining and mountain top removal mining. Its primary use will be comparison of alternative overburden handling plans. Major inputs include pre-mining topography as a sequence of mining block and lift volumes, and post-mining topography as a series of spoil disposal volumes spatially defined in reference to the mining blocks and lifts. Characteristics of the mining firm are input as an equipment suite, labor force size and wages, and overhead costs. The simulator maintains volume accounts for the mining blocks and lifts and for the disposal areas, and time of operation accounts for the equipment as it strips and fills according to the user-input mining plan. Output includes volumes moved from each block to each disposal area, and per block and overall mining costs, on gross, per cubic yard, and per ton of coal bases. 3 references, 3 figures.