What is 'Prior Extraction?'

Prior Extraction is defined as the removal of coal by surface extraction methods, as part of any preparation ground works, which are part of the implementation process of any non mineral surface built development. This is in order to prevent the unnecessary sterilisation of these coal resources and leaving a stabilised engineered fill to developers final platform level.  The amount of coal recovered varies from hundreds to many thousands of tonnes. The cost is minimal compared to traditional options.

Gas release workings image
Plan view of various large extraction/mining vehicles


'Prior Extraction' Benefits

How Does

'Prior Extraction' Work?

Our team of dedicated engineering professionals plays an extremely ‘hands-on’ role throughout all stages of the development process.

Partnering with the developer from the initial site investigation stages ensures we have detailed knowledge of the entire project. It also ensures that we can offer our guidance, experience and knowledge throughout. Including whether ‘prior extraction’ is indeed appropriate for the site.

Information from site investigations, combined with local mining and geological research, helps us develop an individually tailored programme of works for our client.

Where the coal covers much of the site, we can carry out all stabilisation works ourselves.  This includes earthmoving and coal recovery and removal. However, where there are limited coal resources, clients usually appoint their own earthworks contractor and rely on us for specialised coal removal.

As part of our ongoing commitment to quality, an independent consultant will be present to monitor the entire backfill process. They will also ensure each layer is tested and documented to comply with NHBC standards. Any non-compliant material will be re-excavated and replaced.

The final stage of the process, before any building work can be carried out, is monitored and predicted land settlement.

How to Identify Strategic Issues


Our operational portfolio spanned 40 sites across the North of England and Scotland – creating a network of outlets for the extracted coal to power stations, industrial and export markets.

We’re committed to the highest levels of quality – ensuring that all our engineering works are governed by the Mines and Quarries Act 1965, approved by the Coal Authority and meet NHBC standards. We also have our own rigorous HSE policies.

Get in touch today

Copyright © Harland Resources 2019 — All rights reserved. GDPR