The Mining Industry

Mining Terms | Industry Links

Today, the U.S. coal mining industry is recognized as one of the safest, most productive, and technologically advanced in the world.

The coal mining industry employs more than 70,000 men and women in the U.S. Productivity rates have reached an average of 6 tons per miner per hour, or 48 tons in a single 8-hour day. This productivity has doubled from 1985, in part thanks to technological advances and experienced miners.

Today’s typical coal miner is a 50-year-old male with 20-years of experience and at least a high school diploma, according to the National Mining Association.

Nearly two-thirds of today’s U.S. coal production results from surface mining, and one-third from underground mining. And it is estimated that the U.S. has another 250-year supply of coal reserves.

Coal is by far the cheapest source of power fuel per million Btu, averaging less than half the price of petroleum and natural gas. Whether turning on the lights, using your computer or watching TV, more than half of the electricity powering your modern life comes from coal.