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Book 8 The 21st Century


  2015 Pages 

2015 - Page 8

Kellingley Closed After 57 Years

The Last Underground Deep Mine in Britain...

Kellingley Closed
More Information on Media Page

The last piece of coal was produced at Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire on Friday 18th December 2015, bringing to an end deep mining in the UK, with the loss of 450 jobs (including contractors and management).

Big K
Photos From BBC News Report

Kellingley, affectionately known as 'Big K' was sunk  by the NCB in the mid 1950s and began producing coal in 1959. It was planned to work for around 100 years but was closed as uneconomic after 56 years of production.

See video on BBC

The coal was delivered to Drax power station only 7 miles away. Today at the end of 2015 coal is still being delivered there but is coming from overseas countries such as Columbia, Australia and Russia and can be delivered for just over £30 a tonne. No mine in Britain can compete with such a low price. Fracking for gas in the USA created the situation and the bottom dropped out of the coal market. The push to prevent global warming and a Green tax on carbon based fuels has been the final straw and coal fired power stations are to be fazed out by 2025 in favour of greener fuels less harmful to the atmosphere.


As I have mentioned previously most mines were sunk in the 20th Century to last between 70 and 100 years maximum. See remarks on why a mine has to close.

A point of interest, the night time temperature on 18th December 2015, in mid England, since records began was an all time high at 14.3 degrees Celsius. But...temperatures must have been much higher thousands and millions of years ago or we would not have the terrain we have today. I do not believe that us on our little island home will make the slightest difference if we all went 'green' tomorrow.


A conference of World leaders last week agreed that the burning of fossil carbon based fuels was to cease as soon as practicable. However there are known to be 9,000 coal mines in China and similarly some thousands in India. These two countries are expanding and are basically at the point in the industrial development as we were in the early 20th Century. As I see it, there is no way that they will or can comply with the so called 'rules' laid down.

I believe I shall be proved right as I suggested years ago that the closure of the great industry of 'King Coal' would come. However I did not think it would be for about another 20 to 25 years time when the remaining mines would fall into the 70 to 100 years lifespan as I predicted.


See Also Ian Castledine's Web Site

Ian Castledine's Web Site - A photographic record of Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire
Britain's (UK's) last deep coal mine which closed on the 18th December 2015