The demand for coal is increasing in the continuing energy shortage. To meet the need,?
REPORTER: Roger Wolfe
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The demand for coal is increasing in the continuing energy shortage. To meet the need, coal mining companies are looking for faster and more efficient mining machines. One mine in Illinois, the Peabody Number Ten mine, used to have mine engines that backed up empty coal cars to a machine that drilled into the coal face and fed the coal rapidly into the empty cars which then had to be hauled out of the mine. Now this mine, with a thirty percent increase in coal output, has a new, mobile coal conveyer called the "serpenti", which takes the coal from the borer near the coal face and feeds it back over a continuous belt, bracketed at the sides, to collectors near the mouth of the mine. It's rapid. It's more efficient. And it produces more, with less labour, for an energy-conscious economy.