This extract from the Weekly Review in 1944 shows topsoil being sluiced away to expose a coal seam for mining. From the 1940s there was 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 in 1944 at Charleston, where the coal was only a few metres below the surface.
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Reference: Weekly Review 151. National Film Unit, 1944
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