Sustainable Development Assessment in Underground Coal mining by Developing a Novel Index

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Mining Engineering, Petroleum and Geophysics, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran


A novel index is presented in this paper to evaluate sustainable development in underground coal mining. Eleven parameters were chosen as impacting factors that define three aspects of sustainable development, including environmental, economic, and social. Fuzzy Delphi Analytical Hierarchy Process (FDAHP) was used to develop a new rating system in the form of a classification system. Subsequently, a sustainable development index (SDi) was defined as a simple summation of ratings for all parameters to classify the sustainability level of underground coal mining qualitatively. Applicability of the new index was examined through applying it to a case study, and the results were compared with a benchmark model. The results indicate that SDi possesses a higher performance in sustainable development evaluation in the actual case when compared to common models. This performance is because it is developed for underground coal mining, especially in a scientific manner that considers three aspects of sustainable development together.