Overburden (mining term) definition

 Overburden is the waste product which must be removed by coalminers in order to access coal seams.

As it is costly to remove overburden, coalminers will tend to remove as little overburden as possible when coal prices are low. This helps shore up profitability.

When, in contrast, coal prices are high, coalminers will be more willing to remove overburden as their profitability margins are higher.


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