WCM has, over the past five years, employed a team of specialist geologists, engineers and independent ‘Competent Persons’ to report formally, within the internationally recognised JORC code of reporting, on the quantity, quality and practical ability to mine the coal within our licence areas.
Our significant exploration programme included drilling boreholes, onshore and offshore, to recover coal samples from deep underground, coal sample analysis, downhole geophysics and geotechnical analysis. WCM has frequently been asked by local people ‘why did you need to drill holes when there is already so much historical data and it is known that the coal is there?’. The answer is that we needed to comply with modern international codes to assess and determine the size of the Coal Resource and Reserves and that required us to undertake our own research to support the evidence and data that already existed.
We have also collated a significant amount of historical data; including plans of all of the local old mine workings and historical borehole data, geophysics survey data completed offshore by the NCB, NIREX and UK oil and gas companies, and contemporaneous accounts from miners who worked in Haig and other local mines.
The Cumbrian coalfield contains many coal seams, as shown in the stratigraphic column below, with WCM interested only in the Bannock Band, Main Band and Sixquarters. Of these the Bannock and Main Band are the thickest at more than 2.5m thick each.