Story: Coal and coal mining

Bord and pillar mining

Bord and pillar mining

This diagram shows the traditional method of bord and pillar mining. Miners extracted coal along roadways or bords, with the coal between the bords acting as pillars holding up the roof. The outer pillars were then mined, leaving the roof to collapse in a controlled way as the miners retreated towards the exit.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, 'Coal and coal mining - The miners’ work', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2023)

Story by Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 14 Apr 2021