£150m of Mining Gear Abandoned as the UK's Last Deep Coal Mine Closes

By Gary Cutlack on at

Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire is closing today, bringing about the end of the UK's deep-pit mining industry. And seeing as no one's bothered about the local black stuff any more, the mining equipment -- all £150m worth of it -- is being sealed into the pits.

At its peak, Kellingley employed 2,000 people, workers shuffled some 800m down below the surface, where mini trains and conveyor belts took them on a five or six mile journey to the actual mining face. It was the biggest and deepest mine in Europe, but today, when the final shift signs off, that's the end of it.

MP Dennis Skinner says it's a sad end for one of our biggest industries, saying: "We are still importing 40m tonnes of coal and have the capacity to operate 20 or 30 pits in this country while using coal cleanly with carbon capture. It is disgraceful to throw 450 miners out of work in this way before Christmas."

Kellingley Colliery manager Shaun McLoughlin told the BBC it's pointless trying to salvage any of the massive equipment installed down there, saying: "It will just be sealed in the underground. It cost too much to salvage it and there's no market for it even if we did salvage it. We have got some good mining machinery on the surface that we have tried selling all year round and we just can't sell it, so that's going in the scrap bin for scrap value." [BBC]

Want more updates from Gizmodo UK? Make sure to check out our @GizmodoUK Twitter feed, and our Facebook page.