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Coal Mine Operatives

Coal mine operatives detonate charges and use cutting equipment to extract coal from coal faces, build and dismantle roof and wall supports in underground coal workings, and transport coal and other material from the coal face.

More about this Career

Average Salary


New workers start around £19182. Normal pay is £27677 per year. Highly experienced workers can earn up to £44999.



Job counts include both employed and self-employed persons, and do not distinguish between full- and part-time jobs.

Daily Tasks

  • Conveys goods and materials to and from coal face and work areas, loads and unloads mine cars and transfers materials from underground and surface conveyors to bunkers, tubs and rail trucks.
  • Stows waste in area from which coal has been removed using feed hopper or stowing machine.
  • Erects permanent and temporary wall and roof supports from dry stone material, timber and metal, withdraws supports and serviceable material/ equipment from worked out or abandoned faces.
  • Cleans machinery, equipment and tools and maintains refuge holes, roads and airways.
  • Operates heading, ripping and coal cutting-loading machines to remove material from working face and monitors conveyor carrying away loose material.
  • Inserts and compacts appropriate explosive, primer and detonator in drilling hole and detonates charge to break and loosen coal and rock from solid formations.
  • Uses machine or portable drill to drill holes to required depth for blasting, bursting, release of gas or water infusion.

Skills Employers are looking for

Soft skills

Soft skills are non-technical skills that include how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage your work

  • Critical Thinking


  • Learning Strategies


  • Active Listening


  • Monitoring


  • Active Learning


  • Speaking


  • Reading Comprehension


  • Mathematics


  • Writing


  • Science


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