MANAGEMENT

New manual for abandoned mines released in UK

The UK Coal Authority is hoping to assist those with mining legacy issues, such as developers, with a new point of reference on working safely above mine workings with a new manual of guidelines

The UK Coal Authority has released the Abandoned Mine Workings Manual (C758D)

The UK Coal Authority has released the Abandoned Mine Workings Manual (C758D)

The 546-page and 17-chapter guide was created alongside construction advocacy group Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) and authored by industry experts.

Formally called "Abandoned Mine Workings Manual" (C758D), it has been designed for regulators as well as developers, planners, consultants, contractors, asset owners, operators and others. The agency said it was created with "considerable and painstaking research and consultation" from across the sector.

"The key issues associated with abandoned mine workings are extensive and, in many cases, very complex in their detail," the Coal Authority noted in the release notes for the manual.

They may be summarised as events, risks and hazards associated with surface subsidence, collapse of shallow mine workings, mine gas and mine water emissions, and historical methods of abandonment.

The guide is divided into three parts: Part 1 covers the historical background and context; Part 2 explores the residual impacts of past mining; and Part 3 provides guidance on land management and construction in mining areas.

It replaces CIRIA's 'Construction over abandoned mine workings' (SP32), published in 1984.

"Unlike its predecessor, which was heavily weighted towards coal, it covers all minerals and gives a definitive review of past mining throughout the UK," agency information manager David Parry said.

"In addition it features new chapters on mine gas, mine water, fissures and fault reactivation, completion reporting and the use of the mining legacy as an asset with the development of techniques such as mine water sourced heating and cooling."

The new guide was officially launched on October 29 at the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Caphouse, West Yorkshire.

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