Surface-Mining Modeling for USGS Coal Assessments

Open-File Report 2021-1059



The value of national coal deposits is determined for the Solid Fuel Energy Resources Assessment and Research Project through economic evaluations using hypothetical mining models. Deposits near the surface are evaluated with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) surface-mining model, which is patterned after the standard mining techniques and infrastructures of commercial mining projects. The USGS surface-mining model uses these commercial mining project techniques as guides to develop a quantitative measurement to distinguish between potential recoverable resources and reserves by comparing total project cost and market value.

Suggested Citation

Pierce, P.E., 2021, Surface-mining modeling for USGS coal assessments: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1059, 13 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Surface Mining Operations Used in USGS Coal Assessments
  • Surface Facilities Required for USGS Surface-Mining Model
  • Economic Modeling of USGS Surface Coal Mining Operations
  • Future Coal Assessment Studies
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Glossary
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Surface-mining modeling for USGS coal assessments
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1059
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211059
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Energy Resources Science Center
Description iv, 13 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details