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Situated 45km south of eMalahleni (formerly Witbank), Kriel Colliery was established in 1975 to supply coal to Eskom's Kriel Power Station. Kriel's underground operation is mined by means of the mechanised board- and-pillar method, while its opencast operation mining takes place using dragline as well as truck and shovel methods.
Fig. 1, above shows an illustration of a Open Pit Surface Mine. The definition of a open pit mine is "an excavation or cut made at the surface of the ground for the purpose of extracting ore and which is open to the surface for the duration of the mine's life."