Coal Mining – New South Wales, Australia

It would probably surprise a lot of folks – especially here in West Virginia – that the world’s biggest exporter of coal is… Australia. Strip mines have been growing rapidly in the Upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, bringing some painful transformations as local economies lose diversity and become dominated by resource extraction.

Panoramic 2007 satellite view overlooking part of the Upper Hunter Valley coal-mining district.

Google high-resolution satellite images taken in 2007 clearly show the expanding footprints of the dozens of active mines spanning the region. Browse this SkyTruth gallery to take a brief virtual tour.