The site produced a significant tonnage from 2001 to 2005 and during operations was able to retain hedgerows using an Augur to obtain coal from under these conditions. The mining company also provided assistance with removals of the surface soil cover enabling the West Yorkshire Archaeologists to excavate a Romano/British historical site and produce a report on their findings (Covered in this website).
Following a request to make a personal visit, Banks Opencast arranged a viewing programme under the supervision of one of their assistant surveyors Mr. J Drinkall, undertaken in one of their vehicles. I was able to see at first hand the clearing of a section of the site in preparation for deeper excavation (development) and the removal of overburden.
The next stage went into the ‘pit’ where the seams had been exposed and coal extraction was taking place (coal face), it was interesting to see the layering of the strata in between the three working seams. The seams were Stanley Main, Methley Park Top (Kents Thick) and Methley Park Lower (Kents Thin).
We then completed the tour by seeing the back filling operations taking place prior to levelling and restoration. Throughout it was possible to note the efficient working of the pit, maximising on robust earth and coal moving equipment (pictures appended) minimising on manpower requirements.