Highwall mining is a hybrid system that extracts the coal reserves lying beyond the reach of your conventional surface mining operations and for substantially less capital cost and lead time. It consists of a continuous miner driven by remote control, extracting the coal and conveying it through augers or chain conveyors to the outside for stockpiling and transporting. It is typically a rectangular horizontal cut from a highwall bench, it's depth may be as deep as 900 feet. The highwall mining system is usally adopted in the later stages of area or contour mining. A highwall mining guidance system can be utilized to provide navigation and control of coal mining machines, a guidance system may include a ring laser gyroscope and gamma detector for control of the cutting horizon.

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