Planning Applications and Mining Bradford

Let Geoinvestigate quote for your next coal mining risk assessment (CMRA), coal mining investigation, mining report, mineshaft investigation, desk study, ground investigation, borehole investigation, site investigation, geotechnical, geo-environmental or contaminated land investigation in Yorkshire including the towns and cities of Leeds, Sheffield, Rotherham, Wakefield and Doincaster on the South Yorkshire Coalfield.

coal miner underground 2

Geoinvestigate’s  desk top CMRA studies unravel Durham and Northumberland’s Coal Mining Legacy

With over 18 years in the business, several regional offices offering a nationwide service, highly qualified and experienced technical professional staff, and its own drilling equipment, Geoinvestigate is best placed to give the most competitive and professional coal mining investigation service in South Yorkshire.New cmra pics

f you need assistance with a planning application or a coal mining risk assessment (CMRA), a general site investigation or any of our other services please contact us at one of our Regional Offices.

Call our Leeds Office on  01134 182197 or email enquiries

Or if your enquiry is just about Coal Mining CALL FREE on 0800 1712011


The following article gives a brief background to mining activity in the South Yorkshire Coalfield and the services Geoinvestigate provide to enable house buyers, home owners, developers, architects, surveyors and engineers both to buy to build safely in respect of the regions coal mining legacy.

South Yorkshire Coalfield

The South Yorkshire Coalfield is so named from its position within Yorkshire. It covers most of South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and a small part of North Yorkshire. The exposed coalfield outcrops in the Pennine foothills and dips under Permian rocks in the east. Its most famous coal seam is the Barnsley Bed. Coal has been mined from shallow seams and outcrops since medieval times and possibly earlier.

The coalfield stretches from Halifax in the north west, to the north of Bradford and Leeds in the north east, Huddersfield and Sheffield in the west, and Doncaster in the east. The major towns of Wakefield, Barnsley and Rotherham are within its boundaries. It is part of the larger Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire Coalfield. Its western boundary is defined by the outcropping of coal seams in the foothills of the Pennines and in the east by the descent of the coal-bearing strata under overlying rocks as they approach the North Sea. Since the creation of the county of South Yorkshire in 1974, the name can be misleading as the coalfield stretches beyond the Wakefield district and other parts of West Yorkshire as far as Keighley and Kellingley Colliery and the Selby Coalfield are in North Yorkshire. It is separate from the Ingleton Coalfield in North Yorkshire, and a small number of mines around Todmorden are part of the Lancashire Coalfield.

The coal bearing rock strata or coal measures that make up the coalfield outcrop in foothills of the Pennines and dip gently downwards from west to east. This area is known as the exposed coalfield. The coal measures are carboniferous rocks laid down between 290 and 354 million years ago. West and east of Doncaster the coal measures are overlain by younger rocks, permian limestone, where the area is referred to as the concealed coal field.

The northernmost extent of the South Yorkshire Coalfield is marked by the change of the fields richest and highest grade coal seam, the Barnsley Seam or Bed, to a thin seam of inferior coal. This occurs to the north of Barnsley. The southern limit was marked by the Barnsley Bed losing its coking qualities.

The structure of the coal field is not significantly affected by faults except along the River Don between Sheffield and Mexborough. These faults give rise to the Frickley and Maltby troughs where the coal measures are thrown down and lie deeper than other parts of the coalfield.

Coal Type & Seams

The coal found in the South Yorkshire Coalfield was a bituminous coal that was generally used for the production of coal gas and coke. The coke was then used for iron and steel manufacture. Some seams produced coal suitable for raising steam, i.e. it had a low ash and sulphur content. Finally other seams produced coal for household use.

The most famous seam in the South Yorkshire Coalfield was the Barnsley seam or bed. This seam which was up to 3 metres thick in places provided a significant amount of the coal produced by the coal field. The Barnsley seam coal properties varied through the depth of the

Borehole Investigation of Shallow Coal Mining

Over the past 6 months Geoinvestigate’s new compact microdrill system has proven its worth and that it’s just the answer for investigating South Yorkshires coal mining legacy. Microdrill offers restricted access, small diameter rotary open-hole drilling which is first and foremost SAFE, fast, clean, quiet, cost effective and environmentally friendly. New Microdrill has been designed for probing for shallow workings in limestone, sandstone and coal as well as locating mine shafts and sinkholes.Micro-drilling rig for shallow mine workings

New Microdrill reaches the places other rigs cannot get to

Recently Microdrill was in action in Newcastle on the Northumberland Coalfield. Having previously obtained a coal drilling permit from the Coal Authority to drill with small volume water injection flush Microdrill was delivered to site on the back of a standard flatbed trailer.

Microdrilling Site Investigation

Shallow mine working investigation of a housing estate in Newcastle

Access to the drilling positions in several gardens was tricky but achievable with Microdrill.

In accordance with Coal Authority Guidance on Managing the Risk of Hazardous Gases when Drilling or Piling Near Coal (essentially a Code of practice for safe drilling and piling through coal) Microdrill new small volume water injection system was in this instance considered to be the safest flushing medium.


Potential gas emission hazards arising when drilling into abandoned coal mine workings

This is because there was assessed to be an unknown or undetermined gas risk as is so often the case in exploratory drilling works on the UK coalfields.


New Microdrills small volume water flush injection system is by far the safest way of drilling mine workings

The Coal Authority normally stipulates small volume water injection flush for their internally managed exploratory drilling works because it ensures minimal risk to the public from hazardous gases including carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. In fact it is rare under the Coal Authorities strict safety policy for drilling through coal for them to permit anything else but water.

Microdrill on it's 50th job

Probing for shallow mine workings and coal in Newcastle Microdrill on it’s 50th job in Newcastle

The Coal Authorities strict policy with regard to water flush is something to be considered by site investigation companies when compiling a Coal Mining Risk Assessment (CMRA) or drawing-up a source-pathway-receptor based risk assessment for drilling permit application.


High pressure small volume water injection makes Geoinvestigates New Microdrill system safest

It should also be borne in mind by drilling contractors and consultants that the CA polices drill sites checking some 10% of drill sites per year to ensure compliance with the permit. A change in drill flush from that originally agreed with the CA would be a breach of terms and conditions and could result in prosecution.

New Microdrill has been demoed to the CA who gave it their nod of approval suggesting that in their opinion it was easily capable of reaching 50m and much deeper though up till now it has only been tested to 30m which is typically the limit for shallow mining investigation.md8

Coal at 11m depth turns drill water black indicating the seam is intact and the ground is stable  

Geoinvestigate Hartlepool

Geoinvestigate carrying out a contaminated land site investigation and gas survey in Hartlepool

If you require a coal mining investigation, Phase 1 desk study, coal mining risk assessment (CMRA), Phase 2 intrusive site investigation, geotechnical investigation, ground investigation or you need a contaminated land survey or landfill gas survey, trial pitting or borehole drilling please do not hesitate to contact one of our regional offices. Our team are only too happy to assist with your enquiry and will ensure that you get our most competitive quote.