In order for the coal we burn in our homes to get there, it has to undergo a process known as coal mining. In fact, there is an entire industry based around removing the fossil fuel from deep within the earth. Here at Pearson Fuels, we recognise that we talk a lot about coal itself but never about the mining that is carried out in order to recover it. Read on to find out everything you need to know about coal mining…


The practice of coal mining can be dated back thousands of years. In fact, historians have found that the Romans would take advantage of the coalfields during Roman Britain and actually used the vast majority of it by the end of the 2nd Century AD. With this said, it was the dawn of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th century that really kick started modern coal mining as we know it today. After all, coal provided the ability to power steam engines and allowed for the development of technology like never before.

Mining Methods

Over time the way we have approached coal mining has changed. In fact, there are a range of different methods that have been implemented, with surface and underground mining being the most common types.  For example, surface mining is used when the coal seams can be found near the top as it is more economically beneficial to extract the coal using open pits. On the other hand, most coal mining is carried out underground and is comprised of five different principal subcategories; longwall mining, continuous mining, blast mining, short-wall mining and retreat mining.

Environmental Impacts

Since coal is located below the surface of the earth, mining can have environmental impacts that have to be taken into consideration. For example, surface mining eradicates vegetation, damages soil and destroys the habits of wildlife whilst underground mining can cause subsidence of the ground above if the tunnels below collapse which can disrupt the flow of natural streams or damage buildings in residential areas.

Although coal burning comes with its negatives, the process of coal mining is one of the most profitable industries on the planet. After all, the fossil fuel is currently available in abundance and statistics show that we have enough to continue supplying power for the next 200 years! If you’re starting to prepare for winter, get in contact with the best coal merchants around today and ask about our range of smokeless fuels and house coals!