Our Mining Method

Surface mining is a process that enables the clean recovery of coal, and the restoration of the site as the mining work is undertaken. Miller Argent recovers coal using traditional surface mining methods but with modern technology.

As shown in the diagram, the process begins with a section of the earth that is dug out in the shape of a wedge. This earth is then temporarily stored above ground in an overburden mound whilst the site is progressively mined.

After the excavation of the coal is complete in this section the excavated material from the next section is placed in the worked out void. This process is repeated as you can see in the diagram until the whole area has been mined. The final void is then filled with the material which was originally (temporarily) placed in dump above ground.

This system of working provides for a ‘wave like’ activity to flow through the scheme, enabling us to restore the land progressively as the works continue.

This way of mining allows us to restore the land to community use progressively as we continue to work toward the final void. This means that the land will be available to use sooner, allowing the community to benefit from a stable and usable landscape.

Machinery and Technology

Miller Argent already uses best available technology on its site at Ffos-y-fran. For Nant Llesg it proposes to use more up to date plant with better noise reduction.

During the excavation, coal seams are exposed and recovered cleanly, using hydraulic shovels and mechanical coal cleaners. The coal is then loaded into coal lorries and transported over site roads to the Coal Disposal Point (DP) at Cwmbargoed.