Mining Rotherham

Having problems with a planning application? /or you need an intrusive drilling or borehole investigation following on from a coal mine risk report or CMRA? Let Geoinvestigate Microdrill quote for your coal mine working, mine shaft, mine adit or mine working investigation in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield or South Yorkshire.

Geoinvestigate are site investigation and coal mining experts and drill coal and mine workings routinely all over the country from Bristol to Glasgow including Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham. Barnsley & Doncaster Council SYMAS Geotechnology and Mining Searches recommend Geoinvestigate coal drilling & mine drilling services on former coal mining areas.

According to Lyons CMC around three quarters (3/4s or 75%) of coal mine risk assessments or CMRAs will conclude that some degree of intrusive investigation (such as boreholes) will be required to confirm the depth and nature of the shallow coal. To save time and money it can be useful to carry out intrusive investigation at the same time as risk assessment. This is where we can help with your planning application. Geoinvestigate can provide both coal mining risk assessment CMRA and a drilling site investigation if required at a discounted rate.

Geoinvestigate is recommended by both by Doncaster and Barnsley Council’s SYMAS group or South Yorkshire Mining Advisory Service for Coal Legacy borehole drilling and site investigation. We also carry out this work in consultation with other Local Authorities, Local Planning and Building Control Services, the Coal Authority and Environment Agency.

Geoinvestigate offers a coal mining consultancy services covering variuos aspects of coal legacy and coal mining hazard mitigation including, coal mining risk assessment or CMRA, site investigation, cola drilling, mine searches, mining searches, subsidence claim handling, mine shaft and mine entry location and assessment, colliery spoil or tip stability inspections, abandoned mine plan and record interpretation, opencast assessment  and fugitive mine gas or landfill gas surveys and mitigation.

Geoinvestigate’s coal mining consultancy team  offers 1st class coal mining consultancy services under the supervision and management of Ross Nicolson – both a Chartered Engineer, mining specialist, professional miinng engineer and coal mining consultant  or (CMC). Ross has experience and expertise that is rare in the UK today – he’s actually worked underground in both mining and tunneling industries. Few providing coal mining consultancy services or CMRA’s in the UK today can claim this

According to Lyons Coal CMC 15% of the coalfields fall in to zones of High Risk or DHRAs also known as Development High Risk Area’s so there is a significant chance that your development may require coal mining investigation and perhaps even an intrusive coal drilling survey or a site scrape to locate a mine shaft.

Geoinvestigate’s coal mining investigations and coal mining searches are carried out closely following the guidelines of the Coal Authority, CIRIA – the Construction Research and Information Association and (CIRIA) Special Publication 32 document. Construction over Abandoned Mine Workings by Healy & Head. Though an older publication now Construction over Abandoned Mine Workings  still offers highly relevant guidance and is a remains a very important reference document for professional involved in coal mining consultancy. It is referred to by Barnsley Council and Doncaster Council SYMAS group. CIRIA 32 describes historic shallow mining void migration and site investigation practice for shallow coal workings.

According to Lyons CMC only 10% of site investigations of shallow coal workings encounter unstable ground requiring treatment or ground stabilisations works invariably by systematic pattern drilling and pressurized injection grouting or revised or special foundation design or in extreme cases both.

If coal workings are found at very shallow depth an alternative solution may be to bulk excavate down to mine working or coal seam level and remove the lot – mine rooms or stoops as well as mine pillars and sell the coal left in the later. This accords with the Coal Authorities sustainable environment strategy which promotes the recovery of coal where feasible and is opposed to the unnecessary sterilisation or loss of valuable coal reserves under building development.



coal drilling
Geoinvestigate Microdrill coal & mineworking drilling in Barnsley for new house

Geoinvestigate also provides a Mine shaft, Mine Entries, Mining Sinkhole and Mining Crown Hole location and assessment service. Often the omst effective and cheapest way of locating or finding a mine shaft on the former coalfields is by site scrape where the surface or superficial soil is removed and the underlying natural soil or strata is exposed revealing the outline of a square, circular or rectangular line or unlined mine shaft or coal pit entry. Again this process is described in CIRIA publication 32 – Construction Over Abandoned Mine Workings.

If a mine shaft is found Geoinvestigate can provide a follow-up drilling service to investigate the depth and condition of the shaft using a safety platform to support the drill and its operators.

Barnsley Council SYMAS recommend Geoinvestigate Microdrill

SYMAS (South Yorkshire Mines Advisory Service) and their mining engineers provide technical advice to Barnsley Council (BMBC) and Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire local planning authorities (LPA’s) and their Building Control departments on all aspects of ground stability issues and mine hazard whether it be mine shafts, mine adits, mine entries, mining subsidence, mine working collapse colliery tip stability or hazardous mine gas.

After hearing about the advantages of Geoinvestigates new coal microdrill SYMAS and their coal mining consultants were keen to recommend our new Microdrill for coal and mine drilling. This is what they had to say

RE: Microdrill coal drilling

“We will recommend you to clients as much as we can”.

Kind regards Wed 14/02/2018 16:51


Advantages of Geoinvestigate Microdrill

Want to know why SYMAS recommends Geoinvestigate Microdrill? These are the advantages of using Microdrill for coal and mine working investigation that SYMAS were told about –

  • Small volume water injection coal microdrill.
  • Small, fast, reliable, quiet, tidy and safe.
  • Safe because it uses only full water flush to drill. Only some 600 to 900 litres of water is needed to drill a 30m hole.
  • Microdrill has been successfully demoed to the UK Coal Authority (CA) and is now in regular use in the UK from Bristol to Glasgow for mine working probing.
  • It is now the preferred method of several major consultants for investigating mine workings.

No wonder then that when being provided with the above facts as well as the following images showing Microdrill’s small size and obvious suitability for restricted access coal and mine working drilling in gardens, courtyards and through gates and narrow pathways that SYMAS like the UK Coal Authority were quick to see the advantages of this new coal drilling system. Hardly surprising then that SYMAS  now recommend Geoinvestigate Microdrill for mine risk and mine hazard drilling investigation.

Microdrill is small and can reach the parts of a property that other drills cant reach – back gardens, side alleys & through gates


Microdrill returning black coal flush  to surface from a depth of 15m
Geoinvestigate Microdrill returning black coal in water flush to surface. Water drilling is safest say the UK Coal Authority


Geoinvestigates New Coal Microdrill = 2 x Safer Drilling 

Microdrill is doubly (2x) safer because drilling is done not only with water but with very small amounts of water. We also constantly monitor for several mine gases while we drill. The above image shows black coal in the water flush returned from a depth of 8m establishing that at this location the coal seam is either unworked or the drill has penetrated a remnant coal pillar in a room and pillar working. On this job further boreholes confirmed that the site had indeed been extensively undermined by room and pillar methods at very shallow depth subsequently requiring pressure grouting to stabilise the ground before building could proceed safely

Your Mine Risk Report (CMRA) Is Likely To Need Drilling   

According to a Barnsley mining source LyonsCMC 75% of mine risk reports or Coal Mining Risk Assessment (CMRA) reports end up needing further intrusive investigation. More often than not this is carried out using boreholes. So in Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham and South Yorkshire following a coal mine risk report you are likely to need a drilling investigation together with a supporting technical report by a coal mining specialist or coal mining consultant (CMC) as well. Geoinvestigate Microdrill can provide this for you as well as a specialist mining report on the findings of the borehole investigation. Geoinvestigate provides a full 1 stop service including mining investigation and consultancy. Geoinvestigate’s coal drilling investigations and ground stability reports and mine risk reports or CMRAs are Coal Authority and Local Authority compliant.

Drilling to locate ground instability arising from mine working and mine shaft legacy
Safe drilling with water to establish coal mining geology & locate ground instability arising from mine working and mine shafts


Because according to Lyons CMC 75% of coal mine risk reports or CMRAs require further intrusive investigation mostly using boreholes there is a very good chance that the mine risk report you get will recommend drilling, boreholes or open hole probing to locate drift/soil thickness and coal and mine working depth. Geoinvestigate can provide this service for your building development or construction project wherever your site is in Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham or South Yorkshire.

While Lyons CMC Doncaster say 75% of CMRAs may end up in drilling according to Lyons CMC typically less than 10% encounter unstable ground requiring further mitigation which according to Lyons CMC may result in special or revised foundation design and/or systematic drilling and pressure grouting. While occasionally it may be possible to move a new building to a safer part of the site such flexibility is a rare luxury these days as development sites get smaller.

Drilling Is Never A Waste

Drilling is never a waste of money because it provides conclusive proof about whether a site has been mined or not. Drilling can also save you money on unnecessary expensive raft foundations. Geoinvestigate has had first-hand experience of several jobs in recent years where house builders have been recommended rafts but which drilling showed to be completely unnecessary saving many £1000s. Another benefit is that once drilled a property shouldn’t need a repeat or new CMRA the next time it’s put on the market or you need to raise a 2nd mortgage on the property or if the building is to be extended.

Geoinvestigate searching for mine workings with Microdrill and mine shafts with a mini digger
Geoinvestigate searching for mine workings with Microdrill and more than one mine shaft with a mini-digger


Mine Shafts, Mine Adits or Mine Entries

If you have a mine shaft on your property or in a neighbour’s property but near to your house you will almost certainly require further intrusive investigation and a ground stability report. In the case of mine shafts, mine adits, drifts, levels or mine entries this can be expensive. The investigation of vertical shafts requires that the drill rig and its operators have to be supported on a special safety platform capable of spanning a large deep void were the shaft collar to suddenly collapse and a void to appear. For this reason mine shaft investigation requires specialist knowledge and considerable expert coal mining knowledge.

Shallow trenching with mini digger to locate mine shaft in foot print on new house
Shallow trenching with mini digger to locate possible mine shaft in footprint of new house


Geoinvestigate find a small shaft
Geoinvestigate find a small untreated shaft with a mini digger


Making A Planning Application? – Geoinvestigate Can Help  

If you are submitting a planning application in Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield or Rotherham or South Yorkshire you may be advised by your Local Planning Authority, LPA or Building Control or perhaps SYMAS, the South Yorkshire Mining Advisory Service that you require a “Coal Mining Risk Assessment”, mine risk report, ground stability coal report or CMRA.

Past shallow coal mine working <30m depth poses higher ground instability & mine gas risk to building development
Past shallow coal mine working poses greater ground stability & mine gas risk to building development


This is because many parts of the region are on shallow coalfield or coal outcrop where your building development, property or construction project may be at risk from the presence of coal itself, coal outcrop working, coal mining subsidence, mine shafts, mine workings and/or toxic, flammable or explosive mine gas.

Very complex sites may be impacted by ground stability problems arising both from underground and surface mining or opencast coal mining. Mine spoil heaps, coal tips and colliery tips can pose surface stability hazards to development and require careful site investigation.

On submission of a planning application on the Yorkshire or Nottingham coalfield you may be advised by the Coal Authority, Barnsley Council, Sheffield Council, Rotherham Council, Building Control or Doncaster Council Building Control perhaps via SYMAS South Yorkshire Mining Advisory Service that because your site lies in an area of higher mining risk or a Development High Risk Area or DHRA that you require a CMRA or Coal Mining Risk Assessment. Therefore before submitting a planning application it’s always best to check if your site is on a DHRA and needs a mining risk report or CMRA. Checking can avoid lengthy delays in obtaining planning permission. You can also check using the Coal Authority – GOV.UK online mining service.   

One of Geoinvestigates mining specialists carrying out a CMRA desk study
One of Geoinvestigates coal mining consultants carrying out a CMRA mine risk desk top study


At Geoinvestigate our experts lead by Ross Nicolson BSc (Hons) MSc (Eng) CEng MIMMM can quickly check whether your development in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham or Sheffield is on a DHRA and you need a coal mine risk report and we don’t charge for this service. We can also provide you with a CMRA, an intrusive drilling investigation and all the necessary specialist technical advice you need to get your development through planning in relation to coal legacy or other types of underground or opencast mining legacy whether its ironstone or iron ore mining, chalk, limestone, building stone, fireclay, flagstone, brine or slate mining.

Safe Coal & Mine Working Drilling With Water Flush

Coal drilling or mine probing is normally done using rotary open borehole techniques. Typically as a standard the UK Coal Authority require exploratory boreholes to be drilled to 30m depth though some local authorities may accept shorter boreholes of say <20m depth. In some instances this may be because other drills struggle to go deeper. Not Geoinvestigate Microdrill as this powerful yet compact coal and mineworking drill regularly achieves the depth required.

Water flush is safest for drilling through coal and mine workings.
Water flush is safest for drilling through coal and mine workings say the UK Coal Authority & the British Drilling Assoc.


Because of serious safety concerns and risk to health investigative coal and mineworking drilling in close proximity to occupied buildings must be carried out using WATER FLUSH only. Geoinvestigate Microdrill uses only water flush with the additional advantage that only very small amounts of water enters the ground and workings with negligible risk of pushing large volumes of toxic coal and mine gases to the surface where they can pose a very serious hazard to the public or the drill operators themselves.

Geoinvestigate Are Site Investigation & Mine Risk Experts

Geoinvestigate are experts in mine risk assessment in the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and South Yorkshire areas and elsewhere for that matter throughout the UK. We routinely carry out CMRA mine risk assessments, mine searches, mining searches and mine reports in the Yorkshire region together with follow-up drilling and ground gas survey investigations for coal mineworkings. So contact us if you need a free quote or an indication of the cost of a coal mining search or CMRA.

Geoinvestigate Microdrill though a relatively new coal drilling technique is by now a well tried and trusted system of investigating and drilling coal and mine workings throughout the UK. Microdrill can if required reach the Coal Authority’s preferred borehole investigation depth of 30m in 1 day whereas other drilling contractors may take 2 or 3 days or longer to do the same job at much more cost.

Microdrill was first successfully demoed to the UK Coal Authority in 2015 and has subsequently completed several hundred mining and sinkhole investigations throughout the country including the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield coalfields. It is now the preferred method of several major UK coal mining consultants or CMCs.  

Like for like Geoinvestigate Microdrill is cheaper, faster, cleaner and safer. We also provide a top notch coal mining consultancy service under the direction of a Chartered Engineer and geotechnical mining specialist with over 30 experience including working in the underground mining and tunnelling industries – real experience that helps us identify the risks to your project and the appropriate intrusive site investigation methods and mitigation measures needed to resolve ground stability problems cost effectively .

Our investigation methodology and technical advice follows current standard UK Coal Authority & Local Planning Authority LPA and Building Control guidance and CIRIA SPECIAL PUBLICATION 32. 1984. PSA CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNICAL GUIDE 34. REPRINTED 2002. Construction over abandoned mine workings. P.R. HEALY MSc FGS. J.M. HEAD MSc CEng MIMM FGS. ISBN: 086017 218 X.

Guidance on assessing coal mining risk
Geoinvestigate follows Coal Authority – GOV.UK guidance on assessing coal mining risk and development management


So if you are in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield or Yorkshire and you need a quote for a Mine Search, Coal Mining Risk Assessment, Ground Stability Report, CMRA, mine risk report, mine search, coal drilling, mine probing, borehole services, mine shaft investigation or technical advice from our expert mining consultants call us at our one of our nearby offices Nottingham T 01157 722571 or Leeds T 01134 182197. Alternatively call our North Yorkshire Head Office on T 01642 713779 or email You can also FREE CALL our Mining and Sinkhole Helpline.


Geoinvestigate Helpline proviudes free advice on hazrds from mine shafts, mine working
Geoinvestigate Helpline provides free advice on hazards from mine shafts, mine workings and mine gas. Just call us


If Barnsley Council, Doncaster Council, Sheffield Council, Rotherham Council, the South Yorkshire Mining Advisory Service, SYMAS or your local coal mining consultant or (CMC), architect, building surveyor or mining surveyor  recommends that a ground stability report or CMRA drilling investigation is carried at your property call Geoinvestigate for a like for like competitive borehole quote.

Micro Drilling In action in Cumbria
Geoinvestigate Microdrill drilling in a restricted access location outside a residential care home which remained occupied


Geoinvestigate won’t be beaten and we’ll be quicker to provide the vital CMRA report or follow on coal drilling or mine shaft investigation services that you may urgently need either to make a first time planning application or to complete outstanding coal mining issues where conditional planning permission has already been obtained.