Deep mined or Strip Mined

Deep mined or Strip Mined

PostBy: heatwithcoal On: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:44 pm

I am pretty new to coal burning and have read a few places here (I can't find them now) that deep mined coal is much better than strip mined. How can I tell which is which?
I am not in a position to purchase bulk and plan on continuing with bags this year but have no yet decided where to buy.
Two names I have seen locally are Reading and Blaschak and they are pretty much the same price.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Mark
heatwithcoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110

PostBy: Matthaus On: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:30 pm

Mark, I burned strip mine coal last year available from a local supplier in Scranton.

Then I got my hands on the deep mined coal from a friend who delivers to the local state hospital(when it freezes to the body of his trucks I get a 1/2 to 3/4 ton free!). I could not believe the difference in how much less ash there was and that there were little or no unburned pieces of coal.

This year I purchased 7 tons of the deep mined coal from Mt. Carmel PA. It burns beautifully and has even less ash (seems to be 6% to 7%). Mostly just powder in the ash pan.

I do not know this for a fact but I have heard that both Blaschak and Reading are strip mined coal. From my experience strip mined coal has shale and rock mixed in that cannot be completely separated, thus the "unburned" coal left in the ash pan. If it were me I would check around the area and see if there were alternatives to those particular suppliers of bagged coal.

I would expect that the two bagged coal companies products are in the $6 per 40# bag range. By my calculations that is $300 per ton. You can arrange to have some delivered from a deep mine down here for less than that after all is said and done. Just depends on being able to handle a large amount of coal and then have some buddies to share it with. You can get used bags from a feed store and solve the problem of having it bagged. I bagged 2 tons of my 7 and it took less than 45 minutes per ton once I got organized.

One thing I can say from experience, once you start burning the deep mined coal you will go to great lengths to find a way to always burn that! :)

I know I rambled on a bit, just wanted to provide a few thoughts to ponder. :roll:
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

PostBy: OILEYMAN8 On: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:48 pm

I KNOW BOTH OF THESE COMPINIES AND THEY ARE BOTH VERY GOOD SORCES OF COAL
OILEYMAN8
 
Stove/Furnace Make: E.F.M. 520


PostBy: coal berner On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:24 am

Hi heatwithcoal here are all of the Deep Coal Mines in PA Neither
READING Nor BLASCHAK owns or operates any of them There Both STRIP
mine companies
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/bmr/annualreport/2006/table04_anthracite_underground.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/bmr/annualreport/2006/table08_anthracite_operators.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

AND HERE ARE ALL OF THE STRIP MINE COMPANY

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/bmr/annualreport/2006/table05_anthracite_surface.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/bmr/annualreport/2006/table06_anthracite_refuse.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

AND IF YOU ARE ITERESTED in Bituminous coal here there are to

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/bmr/annualreport/2006/table09_bituminous_operators_and_sites_summary.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

If you Need Any info for deep mine coal breaker PM ME I will Give you some number to call
BUY DEEP If YOU CAN :)
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:44 am

I burned Blashack coal and never had any problems, except getting it for a reasonable price around here in CT. It comes in a well sealed bag and burns well with no clinkers. The bag is so well sealed that it is still wet from being washed when opened. Never any rocks or garbage in it either. I think the best thing about it was the bag would go down the cellar stairs just like a slinky, that saved a lot of work. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:16 am

I'm getting Blaschak coal out here in Illinois for $6/bag. Haven't burned much of it yet, but so far, so good. Nice and clean, shiny coal. It's also my only option at this point...... and cheaper than pellets on a BTU basis, even though we have many local pellet mills up in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Maybe next year I'll figure out how to get a supply of bulk, deep mined rice.....although getting a 29 ton load like GregL did would be a little out of my league (and be about a 10 year supply....)

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:17 am

I haven't had any deep mined coal yet, I can tell you that there is a big difference in strip mined coal, depending on where it's from. It can go from almost impossible to burn in the home stove to very good. I had fair to good results with Reading, fair to good results with coal from a dealer in Dickson City (don't know where it came from), very good results with Blaschak, Terrible results with coal from a dealer here in Sussex County, NJ.

Once I get deep coal, I probably will never want strip coal again.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:31 am

I burned bagged Blaschak coal, and it was good, I burned Reading both bagged and bulk, and it wasn't as good. Had some klinkers in the big sizes, and some unburnt too.

The Deep Mined coal has NO unburnt and has a lot less ash.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:56 am

The Reading coal I tried had a lot of trash in it. Wire, wood, rubber and car parts, not what I wanted in my coal. The dealer said that the trash comes from truckers that haul rubbish and coal are not always diligent at cleaning their dump bodies out when hauling trash. I'm not sure if I buy that story though.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:56 am

There is no mineral reason why deep mined coal should be superior to strip mined coal. But it is. I believe the lower quality has to do with the mining technique and the honesty of the seller. With one exception the existing NEPA underground mines are small family owned operations. These operators have coal in their blood and know good coal quality. That's what they provide. The underground mining process likely provides the colliery coal with less rock, wood and other undesirables than strip mining. Therefore, what gets through the cleaning process, will be better from the deep mines. The very large strip mine operators also have many mining permits. Many of these areas have huge amounts of the left overs from a century of coal mining. These left overs do have coal in them, but the quality is not as good. There is a profit motive to mix in some of this lesser quality stuff with the good. As a residential customer you have no control over what you get. Your retailer likely also has little control; most are just hucksters, buying and re-selling at a markup. It takes someone like, "coalberner", a native to NEPA to identify the good from the bad. You should make every possible effort to buy the underground coal.
Last edited by Yanche on Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:09 am

coaledsweat wrote:The Reading coal I tried had a lot of trash in it. Wire, wood, rubber and car parts, not what I wanted in my coal. The dealer said that the trash comes from truckers that haul rubbish and coal are not always diligent at cleaning their dump bodies out when hauling trash. I'm not sure if I buy that story though.


Car parts? Like a set of points or something like the left door from a 1954 Chevy 210? Maybe a 265 cid block? A Wonderbar Radio from a '55?

Only kidding.

The Reading coal I used was bagged, still wet from washing, I did get large clinkers from it, sometimes an "ash bridge" over the grates.
The Blaschak was also wet in the plastic bags, well washed, few fines, no pieces of wood or roots.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:38 pm

Yanche wrote:These operators have coal in their blood and know good coal quality. That's what they provide. The underground mining process likely provides the colliery coal with less rock, wood and other undesirables than strip mining.


That's the gist of it. I'd add it cost just as much to bring a ton of rocks (if not more) to the surface as it would a ton of coal. If they hit a vein of coal that is easily extracted while stripping there is no difference.

The final quality really depends on the breaker they can take a raw product that only contains 10% coal and give you the finest coal on the planet but that's not going to happen because they'll lose money.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:50 pm

The coal I've been using is Kimmel's out of Wiconisco.

Have had rocks, boulders, twigs, branches in the bags & have found shale & molten metal in the ash. Some of the rocks have jammed the grates open requiring a clean out & re-start. That's always good for the stress level! :x

Once there was a gigantic ball of crap about the size of a soccer ball, that was covered in coal dust -- I thought I had the largest chunk of anthracite ever to enter New England......until I broke it up & discovered that it was just a mud ball with rocks in the center. Weighed about 10 lbs. too.

The grind points on the shaker grates are very dull after 2 seasons of sending trash through them.

The coal burns nice & hot though -- no complaints in that department.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:32 pm

Smitty,

I don't remember, what kind of stove do you have?

I had coal like that last year, those "molten metal" pieces would jam between the 2 grates in my Harman. Caused me a lot of grief!
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

PostBy: coal berner On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:59 pm

SMITTY wrote:The coal I've been using is Kimmel's out of Wiconisco.

Have had rocks, boulders, twigs, branches in the bags & have found shale & molten metal in the ash. Some of the rocks have jammed the grates open requiring a clean out & re-start. That's always good for the stress level! :x

Once there was a gigantic ball of crap about the size of a soccer ball, that was covered in coal dust -- I thought I had the largest chunk of anthracite ever to enter New England......until I broke it up & discovered that it was just a mud ball with rocks in the center. Weighed about 10 lbs. too.

The grind points on the shaker grates are very dull after 2 seasons of sending trash through them.

The coal burns nice & hot though -- no complaints in that department.
Hey SMITTY PM me I will give you Some numbers & addresses
about 20 miles E of Kimmel's there are 3 good deep mine coal breakers
8% to 10% ash all coal no crap 140.00 a ton wet breakers and there is
one about 32 miles N.E that has 5% to 6% deep red ash 120.00 a ton dry
breaker all of these Breakers own there mines so it is all good Quality
coal PM me if you would like info
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520