This extract from the Weekly Review in 1944 shows topsoil being sluiced away to expose the coal seam for mining. From the 1940s there was an increasing use of opencast methods, which were safer and allowed more of the coal to be removed. The first opencast mine on the West Coast opened at Charleston in 1944. The coal there was only a few metres below the ground’s surface.
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Reference: Weekly Review 151. National Film Unit, 1944
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