Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations

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VP
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Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2004, 21:49
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Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations requiring operators of surface mines to pay for the reclamation of mined-out land. Since then, reclamation technology has not improved. Yet, the average reclamation cost for a surface coal mine being reclaimed today is only four dollars per ton of coal that the mine produced, less than half what it cost to reclaim surface mines in the years immediately after the regulations took effect.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to account for the drop in reclamation costs described?

A. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, coal mines in Balzania continued to be less expensive to operate than coal mines in almost any other country.
B. In the twenty years since the regulations took effect, the use of coal as a fuel has declined from the level it was at in the previous twenty years.
C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high for mines in such areas.
D. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, surface mines continued to produce coal at a lower total cost than underground mines.
E. As compared to twenty years ago, a greater percentage of the coal mined in Balzania today comes from surface mines.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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24 Dec 2004, 22:17
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Here is my reasoning.
Technology not improved...greater percentage of coal is mined in surface mines...results in lower reclamation cost per ton of coal produced...
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25 Dec 2004, 08:17
But in order to choose E, don't you have to know that the number of coal mines has stayed the same?
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25 Dec 2004, 09:50
Good question. Here is the key: "the average reclamation cost for a surface coal mine being reclaimed today is only four dollars per ton of coal that the mine produced".

Here average cost per ton of coal mined is discussed. Hence, E the best answer.
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25 Dec 2004, 10:08
I think C is better coz....

A - Not comparing cost in Balzania and other countries;
B - it is related to demand but not cost;
D - Not comparing surface and underground mine;

C and E left

For E, larger % from surface mine, as we donno the change in absolute total cost and total quantity, may or may not reduce the cost per ton

But for C, if we remove the higher cost per ton from the portfolio, the average cost per tone will drop

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27 Dec 2004, 09:42
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Hello, the OA should be C, here is my reasoning.

In this question, we can assume there are two kinds of mining methods, one is surface mining which needs to pay and the other is underground mining which needs not to pay.
Then we compare the two mining periods. We can assume...

1:THe years immediately after the regulation took effect

The total cost is $400, and the total tons of coal including surface and underground are 2 tons. So, we get the average cost$200 per ton.

2: Today
The total cost is still 400, because surface mining is ceased. However, the total tons of coal are still increasing. We can assume 4 tons of coal . Then, the average cost will be $100 per ton. Therefore, the OA is C. How do you think? Am I right? Thank you Senior Manager Joined: 17 May 2005 Posts: 272 Location: Auckland, New Zealand Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 0 Re: CR:Balzania [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Jun 2005, 15:28 ttar wrote: Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations requiring operators of surface mines to pay for the reclamation of mined-out land. Since then, reclamation technology has not improved. Yet, the average reclamation cost for a surface coal mine being reclaimed today is only four dollars per ton of coal that the mine produced, less than half what it cost to reclaim surface mines in the years immediately after the regulations took effect. Which of the following, if true, most helps to account for the drop in reclamation costs described? A. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, coal mines in Balzania continued to be less expensive to operate than coal mines in almost any other country. B. In the twenty years since the regulations took effect, the use of coal as a fuel has declined from the level it was at in the previous twenty years. C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high for mines in such areas. D. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, surface mines continued to produce coal at a lower total cost than underground mines. E. As compared to twenty years ago, a greater percentage of the coal mined in Balzania today comes from surface mines. wow! can barely understand the question... A is irrelevant B...amount of coal used doesnt make a difference as they are talking about average cost of reclamation per ton of coal C...irrelevant due to similar reasons as B D...comparison to underground mines is irrelevant E however could explain it...if more coal is produced in a particular area...amount of land per ton of coal is less, thus reducing the cost of reclamation hence my answer is E Manager Joined: 18 Nov 2004 Posts: 76 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 4 [2] , given: 0 ### Show Tags 11 Jun 2005, 17:47 2 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED I don't see the reasons behind why "B" is correct. Could you please explain. I'll go with C on this one. Why I think B is wrong: We are talking about X = [$cost/1ton], Lets assume that they were mining 20 mines before (hence need to fix 20 of them). Because the consumption came down, say they need to mine only 10 now (hence they need to fix only 10). - So, X remains the same, isn't it?
The above assumes, that all mines produce the same amt of coal on an average. Hence, I don't see why X goes down.

Why I think E is wrong:
This one talks about "percentage" and should be very careful. You could get more percentage by not changing anything with surface-mining from 20 yrs ago and just taking down the production from underground mines. Hence, this does not give any information about surface mines.

I'm curious to know what the OA is.
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11 Jun 2005, 20:06
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Fact: 20 years ago a regulation started.
Fact: tech not improved since then.
Fact: cost is halved.

A. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, coal mines in Balzania continued to be less expensive to operate than coal mines in almost any other country.
Talk about cost of coal mines, not reclamatin of coal mines, irrelevant.

B. In the twenty years since the regulations took effect, the use of coal as a fuel has declined from the level it was at in the previous twenty years.
Talks about use of coal. Irrelevant.

C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high for mines in such areas.
This explains the drop in average cost. The reason is high cost area do not get to be used any more.

D. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation costs, surface mines continued to produce coal at a lower total cost than underground mines.

E. As compared to twenty years ago, a greater percentage of the coal mined in Balzania today comes from surface mines.
Do not explain why the reclaimation cost would decrease when more surface mines are used.

C
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12 Jun 2005, 00:00
C. directly addresses costs of reclamation

E is close but irrelavant since since less dug-up soil has no direct bearing on reclamation costs per ton. ton is still a ton

Last edited by sparky on 12 Jun 2005, 16:01, edited 1 time in total.
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12 Jun 2005, 15:37
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ttar wrote:
Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations requiring operators of surface mines to pay for the reclamation of mined-out land. Since then, reclamation technology has not improved. Yet, the average reclamation cost for a surface coal mine being reclaimed today is only four dollars per ton of coal that the mine produced, less than half what it cost to reclaim surface mines in the years immediately after the regulations took effect. Which of the following, if true, most helps to account for the drop in reclamation costs
described?

C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high for mines in such areas.

(C).
Often, more productive technology makes things cheaper over time. But that is NOT the case here. If not better technology, it must be something about how mines are operated when in use, that makes their later reclamation cheaper. (C) addresses this: mine operators are now working locations that are cheaper to reclaim.

(The only alternate explanation would be, say, general deflation making everything cheaper. But that's not an answer choice).
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05 Nov 2005, 20:08
nakib77 wrote:
Twenty years ago, Balzania put in place regulations requiring operators of surface mines
to pay for the reclamation of mined-out land. Since then, reclamation technology has not
improved
. Yet, the average reclamation cost for a surface coal mine being reclaimed
today is only four dollars per ton of coal that the mine produced, less than half what it
cost to reclaim surface mines in the years immediately after the regulations took effect.
Which of the following, if true, most helps to account for the drop in reclamation costs
described?

A. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation
costs, coal mines in Balzania continued to be less expensive to operate than coal
mines in almost any other country.
B. In the twenty years since the regulations took effect, the use of coal as a fuel has
declined from the level it was at in the previous twenty years.
C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of
Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high
for mines in such areas.
D. Even after Balzania began requiring surface mine operators to pay reclamation
costs, surface mines continued to produce coal at a lower total cost than
underground mines.
E. As compared to twenty years ago, a greater percentage of the coal mined in
Balzania today comes from surface mines.

I came down to B and E coz both describe the relationship between demand and supply, which can support the conclusion. But " greater" in E makes the choice unfavorable coz of the bold part in the passage. I choose B.
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05 Nov 2005, 23:22
it is not B.

keep trying.... a clue here is average cost
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06 Nov 2005, 06:45
I am not sure but I would opt for C.

The passage deals with surface coal mines. Operators must pay reclamations which would make the cost more expensive, yet the average cost has fallen. The reason could be that the operators have eschwewed mining in the mountainous regions which would lower the cost. Hence C.
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02 May 2006, 11:36
Should be C. this is the only choice that expalins the discripancy that the average costs reduced to half what was when the regulation took effect..
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03 May 2006, 00:10
How to decide b/w B and C? Both seem to be fine.
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Re: CR#tough2 share the explanations [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2008, 06:09
Cost is 4\$/ton--which is 1/2 of what it was 20 yrs ago...
Only E is making sense
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Re: CR#tough2 share the explanations [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2008, 06:53
C. Mine operators have generally ceased surface mining in the mountainous areas of Balzania because reclamation costs per ton of coal produced are particularly high for mines in such areas.
-- > This explains why the overall cost of reclamation went down in these years.

E is tempting but "greater percentage of the coal mined" could have been due to other types of mines being shut down. The ideal answer would have been "more coal being produced by these mines" but that is not given in any of the choices.

IMO, C comes close to explain why reclamation costs could go down.
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Re: CR#tough2 share the explanations [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2008, 07:10
IMO C.
Since Surface mine are no longer used, so there reclamation cost has gone down.
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Re: reclamation of mined-out land [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2009, 08:44
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i think it is C. The reasoning given seems to be good since if they dont mine at expensive areas those rates will be left out in the average rate...
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Re: reclamation of mined-out land   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2009, 08:44

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