2 Finding and extracting coal
2.1 Finding and extracting coal
Coal is often regarded as the principal fossil fuel, and with good reason. There is almost three times more energy available from the global proven coal reserves as there is from proven oil and gas reserves taken together. Therefore, it is unsurprising that even today much time and effort is spent locating it.
This section considers the techniques used in coal exploration and how coal is produced from surface and underground mines. But first, a brief look at a few of the historical aspects of coal mining will put subsequent developments into context.