Mining companies from Poland have visited the Coal Authority to find out more about our work to make a better future for people and the environment in coalfield areas.
They spent a morning at 2 of our sites as part of a 5-day study visit led by Ros Lund, mining specialist at the Department for International Trade, with Janusz Bil, director of energy and mining at the British Embassy in Warsaw. She said:
They’ve come to the UK because we’re ahead of the curve, as the first major industrial nation to end deep coal mining, to learn from our experience.
Poland has got the luxury of planning for the future, so they’re trying to take a measured approach and work out how to close their coal mines well, considering all the social, economic and environmental implications.
We have already visited Markham Vale services and industrial park in Chesterfield, to see how coal areas can be restored, and found out more about capturing methane to generate electricity at the former Maltby Colliery in Yorkshire.
We wanted to come to the Coal Authority to learn more about how the government manages post-coal impacts.
They visited our A Winning scheme in Derbyshire, to see how we treat mine water to stop it polluting an important source of drinking water and prevent uncontrolled discharges to surface watercourses.
Touring the Mining Heritage Centre with Simon Leeming, our principal mining consultant and information manager.
There was also a tour of the Mining Heritage Centre at our Mansfield headquarters, to hear about our unique archive of historical coal mine plans, which still underpins so much of our work today, from producing mining reports for the housing market to dealing with public safety and subsidence hazards.
Nick Ethelstone, head of our commercial report and advisory services team, who liaised with the Department for International Trade and met the delegation at the previous day’s Association of British Mining Equipment Companies annual conference 2019, said:
The Coal Authority has considerable experience in managing the legacy of coal mining across the UK and this was a fantastic opportunity to share the work we do with visitors from other countries.
The tours of one of our mine water treatment schemes and our information archive showed the breadth of work that we do and gave our visitors the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any learnings that could be applicable to their own work.
The delegation included representatives from Bogdanka, which operates some of the biggest coal mines in Poland, JSW, a major producer of coke in the European Union, and SRK, the Polish equivalent of the Coal Authority.