With the advent of mountaintop removal coal mining, there is no limit. A mine created by mountaintop removal literally blows up up the mountaintop, so that mining companies can access any and all seams of coal anywhere in the mountain. Mountaintop removal is an incredibly devastative practice, as it involves clearcutting any woods on the mountain, and destroying any present ecosystems. After the mountain is no longer useful for extraction, the companies “replant” it, which means they plant non-native grasses over the mound of gravel that was once a mountain. Mountaintop removal mining causes groundwater pollution, air pollution, and destroys ecosystems. The most heavily-mined areas using this method are West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.
Before mountain top removal, mine shafts could go as deep as 3,000 feet, but a more common depth was about 300-600 feet.
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