Coal exploration means the field gathering of:
(a) surface or subsurface geologic, physical, or chemical data by mapping, trenching, drilling, geophysical, or other techniques necessary to determine the quality and quantity of overburden and coal of an area; or
(b) the gathering of environmental data to establish the conditions of an area before beginning surface coal mining and reclamation operations under the requirements of this chapter.
30 CFR § 701.5
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the specified meanings, except where otherwise indicated: