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|Traditionally, surface coal mines in the Western United States have been limited by economics to depths between 150 to 200 feet. Utah International Inc., however, is now planning to strip coal its San Juan Mine in Northwestern New Mexico to depths ranging up to 400 feet while uncovering 20 feet of steam coal. This method is cost-competitive with nearby shallower coal deposits and underground mining of the same property. How trucks and shovels can pre-strip for a dragline, along with results of the planning process, comparison with alternate systems, capital requirements, operating costs and comparisons with other coal sources are all detailed. Also discussed are the major problems anticipated, how they might be corrected, and potential improvements to the concept. Introduction The San Juan Deep Stripping Project will be situated at Utah International's San Jean Mine. The mine is in the Four Corners region, so-called because four states enjoy a common border point about 30 miles to the northwest.(see Figure 1). The area is a semi-arid plateau region with an average elevation of 5,200 feet, receiving an average of 6 inches of precipitation annually|