Surface mining, including strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining, is a broad category of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed, in contrast to underground mining, in which the overlying rock is left in place, and the mineral is removed through shafts or tunnels. Surface mining began in the mid-16th century and is practiced throughout the world, although the majority of surface coal mining mining. two types of mining. surface mining. open pit. strip mining. surface mining and subsurface mining. mineral deposits are near the surface of the Earth and are rem. removes large, near surface deposits such as gold and copper.. removing surface coal in strips that go up to 50 meters wide a.