coal handling plant in Southern WV, 1964 from a painting (302634 bytes)

The drawing shown above of a large coal handling plant in southern West Virginia is taken from the 1964 West Virginia Department of Mines’ Annual Report soft cover edition.

Unless otherwise noted all photographs appearing in the following pages are from the files of the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.

Underground Mines

In West Virginia there are three basic types of underground mines. Drift, Shaft and Slope.  This refers to the type of  portal opening the mine utilizes. The most common type in West Virginia is Drift although some mines may use a combination of types.

Surface Mining Operations

West Virginia Surface mining is conducted using various mining methods.  Those include Contour, Open Pit, Mt. Top Removal, Auger and Highwall.

Mining Equipment

There are literally hundreds of different types of mining equipment.  Far too many to produce here.  Photos in this section will be replaced on a rotating basis. The current leading cause of fatal mine accidents are roof falls.  Measures to control and maintain an underground mines’ roof are vital to safe and productive underground mining, notice both the twin head and quad head roof bolters. One of the many dangers in underground mining is improper ventilation.  Dangerous levels of gases and dust may accumulate presenting the possibility of an explosion.  With correct ventilation that danger dramatically decreases. 

Coal Handling Facilities

Of great importance to the coal industry, these plants prepare coal for shipment.  They may be served by rail, river or truck or all three.  Coal may be blended or shipped as produced from the mine.

Historic Mine Rescue Photos from West Virginia’s past

These photos show some of the teams and equipment once used in mine rescue.

Mine Rescue Training

Critical to mine safety, these teams are prepared to respond immediately to a mine emergency.  Regular training and frequent contests help the teams maintain their focus.

Photos from West Virginias’ Mining History

These photos give some impression of the types of equipment and conditions found in WV mines in previous decades..

Quarry Operations

In West Virginia quarry operations produce, Limestone, Sandstone, Gravel, Sand and Shale.

WVMHS&T in the Classroom  

Photos of WVMHS&T employees conducting a class on mining and abandoned mines for school children.

Note: The information obtained from these documents is accurate to the best of our knowledge and is not a substitute for current mining laws or regulations.  The state is not liable for any damages resulting from any information that unintentionally may be inaccurate or untimely.