New Coalfield in Britain

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    IT has been announced by the Lord President of the Council that a new coalfield has been discovered in south Staffordshire during the course of deep boring by the Geological Survey of Great Britain. At a minimum estimate this coalfield contains 400 million tons or workable coal, and the amount may possibly be several times as great as this estimate. The seams lie at a depth of about 3,000 ft. ; thirty feet of coal has so far been discovered, including seams of 8, 6 and 5 ft. Boring is still going on, and it is likely that further seams will be found. The boring is at Whittington Heath near Lichfield. The new coalfield is situated between the Cannock Chase coalfield and the Warwickshire coalfield, in both of which the productive coal measures crop out at surface. Additional borings will be necessary to prove the full resources and detailed structure of the new field. Funds to undertake a programme of deep boring were granted to the Geological Survey in 1947 for the purpose of investigating the deep-seated geological structure of Great Britain. It is unlikely that all the bores will give direct economic results of such importance as the Lichfield bore ; but the information gained from the bores will enable geologists to interpret the structure of the rocks at great depths beneath considerable areas of the country. Knowledge of this kind is of great general importance in the search for underground mineral and water resources. Mr. T. Eastwood, assistant director of the Geological Survey in charge of mineral deposits of England and Wales, is responsible for the work. Boring has been carried out by the Craelius Company under contract.

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    New Coalfield in Britain. Nature 163, 831–832 (1949) doi:10.1038/163831d0

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