19 de novembro – 11:30-12:45 | PAINEL 5  – O CARVÃO E A INDÚSTRIA



Primeiro Autor:  Sofia Mesquita Soares  >  Afiliação Institucional: LNEG – Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia


Neste trabalho será efetuado o enquadramento relativo às sondagens de prospeção realizadas na região de Rio Maior realçando os registos ainda existentes no LNEG e a importância da sua manutenção.


TÍTULO: AN ISLAND OF COAL: The British National Coal Board and their ‘Plans for Coal’ 1947 to 1987

Primeiro Autor:  Dr. Robert W. Vernon  >  Afiliação Institucional: .Northern Mine Research Society, UK. (Retired Area Geologist, National Coal Board, UK)


Up to the end of World War II only one new coalfield, had been discovered in the United Kingdom. There was little new investment in the industry and it was in slow decline. The coal industry was revitalised in 1947, when it was nationalised, as the National Coal Board.

The first ‘Plan for Coal’ was published in 1950. The industry was restructured with the objective to produce 240,000,000 tons of coal between 1961 and 1965. This would be achieved by modernising 500 of the 950 collieries (90%). The remaining 10% would be obtained from new Collieries, achieved by proving new coal reserves with an extensive exploration programme, including offshore drilling (a new technology). Over ten deep collieries were eventually sunk, mainly in concealed measures surrounding existing coalfields. In 1955, the ‘Plan’ was revised and coal output was increased by 10 million tons. During the 1960s manual coal extraction methods were replaced by mechanisation with further colliery closures.

The Yom Kuppur war in 1973 highlighted how dependent the UK was on oil from the Middle East. A balanced energy strategy was devised involving oil, gas, nuclear and coal. Consequently, the second ‘Plan for Coal’ was published in 1974. An extra 40 to 42 million tons of coal was required by 1985. Geological exploration was concentrated on the concealed coalfields of the Midland / Yorkshire, using advanced boring and seismic techniques. The Selby Complex, Yorkshire, was established to produce 10 million tons per annum over 25 years.

‘Plan2000’ was devised in 1978. It was envisaged that 60 million tons of extra production would be required by 2000. Exploration proved considerable coal resources, but by the end of the 1980s the use of coal was in decline and the industry was privatised.

The paper shows how the ‘Plans for Coal’ increased our knowledge of coal geology, and proved that the UK is indeed an ‘Island of Coal.’