Methods of Mining Coal
Underground mining was once the primary method of extracting coal in
Indiana. But in the 1920's and 1930's, strip mining increased. As shallow
reserves of coal were depleted, larger and larger shovels and draglines
were needed to remove the overburden. Ayrshire Collieries Corp. (now part
of Amax Coal Co.), Enos Coal Mining Co. (now part of Old Ben Coal Co.),
and Maumee Collieries and Sherwood-Templeton Coal Companies (now part of
Peabody Coal Co.) were early Indiana companies that helped develop the
massive earth-moving equipment commonly seen today in southwestern Indiana
and the Midwest.
Indiana's coalbeds are being stripmined where they are
shallow, but extracting coal by surface mining at some depth not yet
established will not be profitable. Vast resources of coal remain in
southwestern Indiana for underground mining.
Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: