Explore the geometry of the Tagebau Garzweiler Open Pit Mine, Germany, through detailed Google satellite imagery. To Pan: click and drag
the map. Take advantage of the zoom bars.
The Tagebau Garzweiler is a large strip mine (Tagebau) in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. It is operated by RWE and used for mining lignite. The mine currently has a size of 48 kmē and takes its name from the village Garzweiler previously existing in that location.
Mining is taking place in the 66,0 kmē area Garzweiler I located east of motorway A 44, and in 2006 the bucket-wheel excavators first touched parts of the 48,0 kmē Garzweiler II area. Exploitation is planned from 2006 until 2045.
The Bagger 288 (Excavator 288), built by the German company Krupp for the energy and mining firm Rheinbraun, is a bucket-wheel excavator or mobile strip mining machine. Source:
Wikipedia, Tagebau Garzweiler
The goal of coal mining is to economically remove coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s is widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a "colliery". In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine.
Open Pit Mining
When coal seams are near the surface, it may be economical to extract the coal using open cut (also referred to as open cast, open pit, or strip) mining methods. Open cast coal mining recovers a greater proportion of the coal deposit than underground methods, as more of the coal seams in the strata may be exploited. Large Open Cast mines can cover an area of many square kilometers and use very large pieces of equipment. This equipment can include the following: Draglines which operate by removing the overburden, power shovels, large trucks in which transport overburden and coal, bucket wheel excavators, and conveyors.
RWE AG is a German electric power and natural gas public utility company based in Essen. Through its various subsidiaries, the energy company contributes electricity and gas to more than 20 million electricity customers and 10 million gas customers, principally in Europe. RWE is the second largest electricity producer in Germany.