United Kingdom

(Map) The United Kingdom

UNITED KINGDOM (EN: Great Britain; RU: Великобритания), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (RU: Соединённое Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии), is the country within the Western Europe, on the British Isles. The United Kingdom occupies the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and the series of the small islands, which are washed by the Atlantic ocean and the North sea. The area is 244.1 thousand square kilometres. The population is 55.7 million persons (1981). The capital city is the London city. The United Kingdom comprises 4 historical-geographical regions: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (Ulster). The official language is the English language. The monetary unit is the pound sterling. The United Kingdom is the member of the EEC (since the 1973), and heads the Commonwealth (British).

The general characteristic of the economy. In terms of the value of the external gross product (1981), the United Kingdom holds the 5th place among the industrially developed capitalistic countries. During the 1980, the external gross product of the country amounted to 193 billion pounds sterling (at the current prices), of which 25% were accounted for the processing industry, 5.7% were accounted for the extracting industry (including the primary processing), 2.9% were accounted for agriculture, and 6 3% were accounted for transport. The leading branches of the processing industry are: the machine-constructing industry, the electrical-technical industry, the chemical industry, and the petrochemical industry, which determine the specialization of the United Kingdom within the worldwide capitalistic commerce. Within the structure of the fuel-energy balance of the country, petroleum amounts to 37.7%, coal amounts to 36.9%, natural gas amounts to 21.4%, nuclear energy amounts to 4.1%, and the hydraulic energy amounts to 0.6% (1980). The production of the electric energy during the 1980 was 284.9 billion kilowatt-hours.

One of the most important types of transport within the United Kingdom is the marine transport. The cargo turnover of all the ports within the country is 415 million tonnes (1980), more than 1/3 of which is the produce of the mining industry. The main ports are: London, Milford Haven, Tees-Hartlepool, Shetland, Fort, Southampton, Grimsby and Immingham, Orkney, Medway, Liverpool, and Manchester. The length of the automotive roads is 363 thousand kilometres (1980), the length of the railways is 17.7 thousand kilometres (including 3.7 thousand kilometres of the electrified railways). There exists the extensive network of the petroleum pipelines and gas pipelines (including the underwater pipelines).

The nature. The relief of the central and south-eastern parts of the United Kingdom is hilly with plains; within Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, there prevail the low mountains and uplands, which are almost smoothed by the glaciers and fluvial erosion. At the West of Scotland, there are located the Grampian mountains with the Ben Nevis mountain (1343 metres), which is the highest mountain within the United Kingdom. To the south of Scotland, there are situated the Pennine mountains (the Cross Fell mountain, 893 metres), and also the dome-shaped Cumberland mountains (the Scafell Pike mountain, 978 metres). The Wales peninsula is occupied by the Cambrian mountains (the Snowdon mountain, 1085 metres). The climate is temperate oceanic (the average temperature of January is 3.5-7 degrees Celsius, and of July is 11-17 degrees Celsius); the atmospheric precipitation is 600-750 millimetres per year at the plains, and 1000-3000 millimetres per year at the mountains. The main rivers are: Thames, Severn, Trent, Mersey. The forests amount to 9% of the territory, there exist many artificial parkland vegetation plantings. The significant part of the country is occupied by the protected territories.

The geological structure. In the geostructural sense, the territory is sub-divided from north to south into the ancient Hebridean massif (the protrusions of the pre-Cambrian at the north-west of Scotland, and on the Hebridean Islands), the Caledonian folded belt of Scotland, Northern England, and Wales, the pre-Cambrian craton of Wales and of the Midlands, the Caledonian London-Brabant massif, and the Hercynian folded belt. The Hebridean massif is formed by the Liassic polymetamorphic complex (since 2.9 till 1.1 billion years ago), which is including granulites, para-gneisses and ortho-gneisses, and migmatites, which have been breached by the intrusive rocks. The cratonic cover has been formed prevalently by the marine depositions of the Late pre-Cambrian, Cambrian-Ordovician, and Silurian, by the continental-marine red-coloured depositions of the Devonian, and Carboniferous, and also by the Mesozoic continental (Triassic) and marine (Jurassic) depositions, by the Paleocene-Eocene basalts, with the subordinate covers of rhyolites and trachytes.

The Caledonian folded belt, which is having the width of approximately 300 kilometres, is sub-divided into the northern peripheric zone, which is thrusted onto the Hebridean massif; the zone of the Caledonian metamorphism, which has experienced the major deformations during the start of the Ordovician; the graben of the Median valley of Scotland, which is filled with the depositions of the Devonian and Carboniferous; the Caledonian non-metamorphic zone of the southern Scotland and northern England (the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian formations, which have been crumpled since the end of the Silurian till the start of the Devonian), and the Wales downfold, to which there are confined the coal-bearing depositions of the Carboniferous. The zones of the Caledonian belt are separated by the large deep faults. The pre-Cambrian craton of Wales - Midlands has been formed by the complex of the Upper pre-Cambrian gneisses and crystalline schists, which are unconformably overlain by the rocks of the Lower Paleozoic. The north-western part of the London-Brabant massif within the United Kingdom is represented by the folded Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian sedimentary rocks. The Caledonian molasse, which has been formed by the variegated rocks of the ancient red sandstone (the Lower and Middle Devonian), fills the numerous depressions within the mountains and between the mountains. The epi-Caledonian cover has been formed by the ancient red sandstone (Devonian), and by the cratonic depositions of the Lower Carboniferous. Within the limits of the southern United Kingdom (Cornwall, Devon), there is situated the zone of the Hercynides, which has been formed by the geosynclinal marine depositions of the Devonian and Lower Carboniferous, which have been breached by granitoids. The Hercynian, prevalently continental, coal-bearing molasse (the Middle and Upper Carboniferous) fills the numerous depressions to the north of the front of the Hercynides (the South Wales, Oxfordshire, and Kent). The epi-Hercynian cratonic cover has been formed by the diverse Permian, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic depositions, which are most distributed within the southern England. For the zone of the Hercynides within the south-western England, there are characteristic the rich deposits with the ores of tin, tungsten, copper, and kaolin. On the entire territory of the United Kingdom, there are widely developed the glacial and periglacial depositions of the Pleistocene.

The hydrogeology. On the territory of the United Kingdom, there are distinguished the hydrogeological regions of the folded zones and of the cratonic cover. The region of the folded zones is structurally represented by the isolated depressions within the mountainous part of the country. The resources of the fresh underground waters are limited. The waters are concentrated within the weathering crust of the crystalline rocks of the pre-Cambrian, and within the horizons of the schist-terrigenous stratum of the Paleozoic, which are permeable for the water. There are operated the water spring sources, and this source provides 5% of the needs for the water. The shortage of the resources of the underground waters is compensated with the surplus by the uniform and abundant atmospheric precipitation, which creates the reserve for the transfer of the surface waters into the regions of the country, which are less abundant with the water.

The region of the cratonic cover within the flat part of the country is structurally dissected into the group of the artesian basins, and into the uplifts, which are separating these basins. The major aquifers are the Upper Cretaceous aquifer (50% of the resources of the fresh waters within the country), and the Permian-Triassic aquifer (25%). The thickness of the limestones of the aquifer of the Upper Cretaceous, which is well-developed within the London, North-Eastern, and Hampshire artesian basins, is 100-500 metres, and the depth of the embedment of the roof is up to 200 metres. The yield of the water spring sources and boreholes is up to 50-100 litres per second. The waters are mostly fresh (0.3-0.5 grams per litre). In association with the excessive pumping of the water within the region of London, by the 1940, the level of the water within the Cretaceous layer has fallen by 75 metres, and the boreholes, which were gushing initially, have been deepened. For the watering of the Cretaceous layer (at the north and west), they inject into it during the winter the waters, which have passed the special treatment, from the Lee and Thames rivers. The thickness of the sandstones of the aquifer of the Permian-Triassic (the small artesian basins) is from 100-300 to 1000 metres, the depth of the roof is up to 30 metres. The yields of the boreholes are up to 60, less often up to 100 litres per second, with the average values of 3.6 litres per second. The waters are from the fresh waters (0.5-0.8 grams per litre) to the highly mineralized waters and brines of the Cl- with Na+ composition. There are used 2689 • 10^6 cubic metres of the underground waters, which amounts to 1/3 of the total water consumption within the country.

(Table # 1) The resources of the major useful minerals (1980)
The useful mineral The reserves The content of the useful component
total proven and probable
Petroleum (including condensate), million tonnes - 2033,0 -
Natural gas, billion cubic metres - 739,0 -
Mineral coal, billion tonnes 162,8 99 -
Iron ores, million tonnes 3137 2712 22-30
Lead ores (1), thousand tonnes 50 30 -
Zinc ores (1), thousand tonnes 30 20 -
Tin ores (1), thousand tonnes 260 130 0,85-1,5
Tungsten ores (2), thousand tonnes 123 4 0,1-0,6
Strontium ores (2), thousand tonnes 20004 - -
Barite and witherite, thousand tonnes 3500 - 90
Fluorite, million tonnes 50 100 40
Rock salt, billion tonnes 420 - -
Potassium salts, million tonnes 50 - 27
Kaolin, million tonnes 2000 - -
(1) In terms of the metal. (2) In terms of the oxides. (3) The estimation. (4) During the start of the 1975.

The useful minerals. The bowels of the United Kingdom are rich in petroleum, natural gas, mineral coal, kaolin, and fluorite (see the Table # 1); there exist the deposits with the tin ores, rock and potassium salts, celestite, refractory clays, non-metallic building materials, petroleum shales, and small (more often exhausted) deposits with the ores of iron, copper, lead, zinc, with barite, and witherite.

The United Kingdom holds the 1st place among the capitalistic countries within Europe in terms of the reserves of petroleum, and the 2nd place in terms of the reserves of the natural gas. The industrial fields with petroleum and gas are embedded under the bottom of the North sea, on the coastal shelf within the limits of the Central European petroleum-and-gas-bearing basin. The small fields with petroleum and gas are known on the British Isles (mainly within the Nottinghamshire), the large quantity of these fields has been exhausted. The major petroleum and gas fields within the North sea are embedded within the depositions of the Paleogene (Fortis, Montrose, with the depth of 1500 metres), of the Upper Cretaceous (Magnus, Piper, Claymore, 2400 metres), of the Jurassic (Thistle, Dunlin, Brent, Hutton, Ninian, Cormorant South, Beryl, 2700 metres), of the Triassic (Hewett, approximately 3300-3600 metres), and of the Permian (Argyle, Viking, Indefatigable, Leman, 4000 metres).

In terms of the reserves of the mineral coal, the United Kingdom holds the 2nd place among the capitalistic countries within Europe. The coal basins are associated with the mineral coal depositions of the Caledonides, and form four groups: the Southern group (South Wales, Somerset-Bristol, Kent, with the total reserves of 43 billion tonnes), the Central group (Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, North Wales, 90 billion tonnes), the Northern group (Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, 16 billion tonnes), and the Scottish group (the Scottish basins, 13.5 billion tonnes). The coals range from the long-flame coals to anthracites; the thickness of the layers is 1-2 metres on average.

The iron ore deposits within the United Kingdom are severely depleted. The depositions of the sedimentary type are confined mainly to the Jurassic depositions of the cover of the Caledonides. The largest deposits (Millom, Egremont, Beckermet, Corby, Northampton) are concentrated within the region of the Scunthorpe city, and within Cumberland and Northamptonshire.

In terms of the reserves of the tin ores, the United Kingdom holds the 1st place within the Western Europe (4% of the reserves of the industrially developed capitalistic and developing countries). The deposits, which are situated to the south of the front of the Hercynides on the Cornwall peninsula, are confined to the granitic intrusions of the Late Carboniferous age; there are known also the tin ore marine coastal shelf placers on the northern coast of Cornwall. The ores are mostly complex (they contain also copper, zinc, and tungsten). The ore bodies are represented by the veins and mineralized zones, with the length of up to several kilometres, with the thickness of 0.3-12 metres (the average thickness is 1.2 metres). The largest deposits are: South Crofty, Mount Wellington, and Geevor. Near the Plymouth city, there is known the Hemerdon deposit with the low-grade tin-tungsten ores.

The reserves of the lead-zinc and copper ores within the United Kingdom are extremely limited. The deposits with the ores of copper (Cornwall, Devon) have been exhausted, and there are being developed the dumps with the waste rocks. Within the North Wales, there have been identified the significant reserves of the poor (up to 0.3% of Cu) copper-porphyric ores. The small deposits with the poor polymetallic hydrothermal ores (Cumberland, Derbyshire, Cornwall, and others) have been exhausted.

In terms of the reserves of fluorite, the United Kingdom holds the 4th place within the Western Europe. The deposits are known within the South Pennines and North Pennines, within the Derbyshire and Durham counties, and are represented by the veins and metasomatic depositions within the limestones of the Carboniferous.

The depositions with the potassium salts are concentrated within the depositions of the Zechstein formation at the north-eastern coast within the region of the Billingham city, while the depositions of the rock salt are concentrated mostly within the depositions of the Triassic within the region of the Liverpool city within the Cheshire-Shropshire salt-bearing basin (the largest deposit is the Keuper Marl deposit). There are known the deposits of barite (Devon), celestite (within the region of the Bristol city).

The United Kingdom is rich in terms of kaolin. Saint Austell and Lee Moor, the largest deposits with kaolin within the country, are situated within the region of the good development of the Hercynian granites (Cornwall, Devon). The pottery clays (the main deposit is the Bowie deposit) are confined to the Tertiary depositions, the refractory clays are confined to the Carboniferous, and are laying under the coal layers, the brick clays and argillaceous shales are confined to the Upper Jurassic, the bleaching clays are confined to the Lower Cretaceous (the deposits are near the Lower Greensand group of the formations), and to the Jurassic (near the Bath city).

The United Kingdom is rich in the non-metallic building materials, the deposits of which are widely developed on the territory of the country, and on the coastal shelf. The deposits with sand and gravel are mostly associated with the Quaternary and Lower Cretaceous depositions within the southern and south-eastern United Kingdom. The sandstones are confined to the pre-Cambrian, Lower Paleozoic, and Carboniferous within England and Wales; 70% of the reserves of limestones and dolomites are associated with the mineral coal depositions (the thickness of the layers reaches 1 kilometre). The deposits with gypsum and anhydrite are situated within Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire (the depositions of the Permian-Triassic), and also within the Cumberland (the Upper Permian), and within the East Sussex (the Upper Jurassic). The thickness of the layers is 1.8-4.5 metres.

The history of the mastering of the mineral resources. The usage of the rocks (flint) for the crafting of the implements has started within the United Kingdom during the Lower Paleolithic (300-100 thousand years ago). The ancient developments of flint have been studied at the east of the country, within the Grimes Graves. At the Stonehenge, near the Salisbury city, there are known the built structures (the pairs of the stone columns with the lintel stones), which have been made of the huge blocks with the mass of approximately 30 tonnes, which have been delivered, supposedly, from the quarries at the distance of 200 kilometres of the Stonehenge (the 3th - 2th millennium BC).

The archaeological monuments for the mining craft of the Bronze and Iron Ages are practically destroyed by the later developments. The researches of the settlements have shown, that since the end of the Bronze age till the start of the Iron Age, within the Alderley Edge (Cheshire) and North Wales, they have started the extraction of the copper ore, and within the Cornwall, they have started the extraction of the tin ore. During the Iron Age (since the 5th century BC), there have been started the developments of the iron ore by the opencast method within the Forest of Dean (Glamorganshire), and this ore was melted with the help of the charcoal. Within the Kimmeridge (Wessex), there are known the underground mines (approximately 6th century BC - I century AD) for the extraction of schist, while within the Lower Jurassic depositions at the coast near the Whitby city (Yorkshire), there was extracted the jet-black lignite.

With the Roman conquest of Britain (the 1st - 4th centuries), there has spread itself the antique machinery (see the "Mining craft" article); the Roman tin mines are known within Derbyshire, at the mountains of the Mendip Hills and Halkin (Flintshire), and within Cornwall.

After the Norman conquest of Britain (1066), they developed the iron ores within Radlane (Flintshire). It is known, that the extraction of coal was conducted since the 12th century, although this extraction has been started, apparently, during the start of the AD. Since the 14th century, there are known the opencast developments of coal in the form of the bell-shaped pits with the depth of up to 12 metres, from which the coal was hoisted within the baskets; the water was diverted by the underground drainage ditch. Since the 16th century, there is being introduced the development of coal with the usage of the short pillars, with the depth of the underground mines of up to 30 metres; during the 17th century, the depth of the underground mines has reached 90 metres. Since this time, they sink the shafts with the wooden supports from top to bottom. They extracted the ore during the 14th - 17th centuries (tin, lead, silver) within the Bir Ferrers (Devon), at the Mendip Hills mountains, and within Shropshire (Wales), from the open pits, and later from the trenches and adits. Since the 14th century, there was used for the mining craft the winch, and since the 17th century, there was used the lifting winch (the waterwheels and others). During the the 16th century, there also worked at the underground mines and mines within the United Kingdom the miners from Germany.

The extraction of coal since the 16th century to the start of the 18th century has increased from 200 thousand to 3 million tonnes per year. During the 18th century, the coal industry was the most developing branch of the industry within the United Kingdom, and this industry has laid down the foundation for the industrial revolution. The first steam engine, which has replaced the horse-powered mover, was the engine, which has been created by Thomas Savery, and has got the "friend of the miner" name. During the middle of the 18th century, they have started to use for the dewatering the pump with the steam engine by Thomas Newcomen, which fact has permitted to conduct the development of the water-bearing horizons at the great depths. During the 1774, James Watt used the first steam engine for the dewatering at the underground mine. During the 1738, within the Whiteheaven city, there have been laid for the first time the steel rails, which have replaced the wooden rails (the wider usage of them has been started since the 1767); there have appeared within the underground mines the first locomotives.

There was the centre for the production of tin during the 18th century the Cornwall peninsula, where, yet during the Middle Ages, have been settled the ore-diggers from the continent. Within the Cornwall, Cumberland, North Wales, and other regions, there was extracted the copper ore, while within the Cardiganshire and Derbyshire, there were extracted the silver-lead ores. The major centres for the smelting of zinc within the United Kingdom have appeared within the region of the Swansea city (approximately during the 1720) and near the Bristol city (since the 1740). The extraction of the iron ores, which has fallen during the 17th century into the decline because of the depletion of the reserves of the forests, and because of the small power of the animal-powered transport, satisfied during the 18th century only approximately 30% of the needs of the country. For example, during the 1740, the United Kingdom imported (mostly from Sweden and Russia) twice more iron, than it produced. With the appearance of the coke and hot blowing, the production of iron has sharply increased.

Since the start of the 19th century, there were created the new technological means. At the underground coal mines, they have started to use the ventilators with the steam mover, and the safe mining lamp, which is protected by the metallic mesh or by the cylinder, which there have invented Humphry Davy and George Stephenson simultaneously (1815). Since the middle of the 19th century, during the underground development of the deposits with the useful minerals, there have been started to use for the haulage the ponies. The excavation of the coal was performed manually, with the help of the pickaxe with one blunt end (in the individual cases, there were used the explosive substances); the roof support was performed with the wooden struts. The underground mine installations (the pumps for the centralized dewatering, and the ventilators for the main ventilation) had the steam mover, while in the individual cases, there was used the compressed air. The usage of the electric energy at the underground mines of the United Kingdom has been started since the 1880, when there were more than 4000 underground mines within the country, and the annual extraction amounted to approximately 200 million tonnes of coal. The first coal-cutting machine with the electric motor with the power of 7.5 kilowatts has started to work at the "Normanton" underground mine within Yorkshire during the end of the 19th century; by the 1903, there worked 149 coal-cutting machines.

The extraction of the ores of the non-ferrous metals within the United Kingdom has reached the highest rise during the middle of the 19th century, when the United kingdom has got one of the first places within the world in the production of copper, tin, and lead. By the end of the 19th century, the extraction of the ores of the non-ferrous metals has fallen into the decline as the consequence of the depletion of the deposits (the extraction from the old dumps with the waste rocks), and as the consequence of the import of copper from Chile and from the USA, and of lead from Spain.

The mining industry. The general characteristic. The major branches of the mining industry are the extraction of coal, petroleum, and gas (see the map). During the 1980, there were employed within the mining-extracting industry the 345 thousand persons (1.4% of the working population). Within the structure of the mining industry (1979), coal accounts for 33% of the value of the produce of the branch of the industry, petroleum accounts for 48%, natural gas accounts for 7%, and the non-metallic building materials account for 12%. See the map.

Within the mining-extracting industry, there work the governmental and private companies. The National Coal Administration controls almost all the extraction, with the exception of the small underground mines and open pit mines, and it also controls the transportation and distribution of coal (the turnover is 4700 million pounds sterling, 1981); the "British Gas Corp." company controls the large part of the extraction of the natural gas on the coastal shelf of the North sea (especially within the southern sector), and all the distribution of this gas within the country (5235 million pounds sterling). The government is the co-owner of the 39% stake in the "British Petroleum", which is one of the 7 largest petroleum companies within the world. Within the mining-extracting industry, there works the series of the multinational petroleum-gas monopolies (the extraction of petroleum within the North sea): "Amoco", "Burmah", "Conoco", "Gulf", "Occidental", "Mobil", "Phillips", "Texaco."

There are engaged in the extraction of the ores of the non-ferrous metals, salt, schists, non-metallic building materials within the country the small private companies. The deposits with gold, silver, and petroleum within the United Kingdom are the property of the government, regardless of the belonging of the place, within which they are embedded; the coal belongs to the National Coal Administration. According to the law (1972), the government pays up to 35% of the cost for the exploration and extraction of the ores of the non-ferrous metals, and also fluorite, barite, and potassium salts.

(Table # 2) The extraction of the major types of the mineral raw materials
The mineral raw material 1950 1960 1970 1980
Natural gas (1), billion cubic metres - 0.1 11.1 37.2
Petroleum, million tonnes 0.046 0.087 0.084 80.5
Coal, million tonnes 219.5 197.8 147.1 126.6
Iron ores, million tonnes 13.17 17.36 12.02 ок. 0.9
Tin ores (2), thousand tonnes 1.4 1.9 3.1 3.3
Lead ores (2), thousand tonnes 4.3 2.0 6.0 3.6
Zinc ores (2), thousand tonnes - - - 4.4
Strontium ores (3), thousand tonnes 7.0 7.0 10.0 7.0
Talc, thousand tonnes 2 7 11 17
Bromine, thousand tonnes - - - 26
Potassium salt, million tonnes - - - 1.7
Rock salt, million tonnes 0.04 0.15 0.74 7.1
Fluorite, thousand tonnes 58.1 99.1 193.3 186
Gypsum, million tonnes - - - 3.4
Sand and gravel, million tonnes 38 77 116.4 104.6
Kaolin, thousand tonnes 816 1713 3233 4000
Pottery clay, thousand tonnes 385 530 837 -
Refractory clay, thousand tonnes 2309 2194 1967 1.2
Other clays and argillaceous shales, million tonnes 23.956 31.30 32.1 -
(1) The marketable extraction. (2) In terms of the metal, which is extracted. (3) In terms of the oxide.

The United Kingdom provides itself with coal, gas, the light grades of petroleum, and the non-metallic building materials (see the Table # 2).

Ores and concentrates are almost entirely imported. There are also imported the heavy grades of petroleum, which are necessary for the industry. During the 1980, there has been imported the produce of the mining-extracting industry (ores, concentrates, fuel) for 10958 million pounds sterling, which amounts to 21.9% of the total import of the country. The United Kingdom imports the following major types of the produce: the iron ore and concentrates (mostly from Canada, Sweden, Brazil, and Norway), nickel (mostly from Canada), lead (the large portion from Canada, and Peru), zinc (mostly from Peru, and Canada), tin (mostly from Bolivia), manganese (from the Republic of South Africa, and Brazil), chromium (mostly from the Republic of South Africa). Besides this produce, there is imported the large quantity of the semi-finished products, and of the scrap of the ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The import of petroleum (1980) has amounted to 13% of the import of the country (mostly from the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq). The value of the export of the produce from the mining-extracting industry is 7867 million pounds sterling (1980). There is exported the large portion of the kaolin, which is extracted, the small quantity of coal (4 million tonnes), table salt, and bromine. There is rapidly growing the export of petroleum (51 million tonnes, 1981), which is extracted within the North sea (into the USA and other countries).

The petroleum industry. The extraction of petroleum on the dry land has been started during the 1919, and was conducted later in the small quantity. The turning point within the petroleum-extracting industry within the United Kingdom has been started during the 60-ies - start of the 70-ies, when there have been discovered within the northern regions of the North sea the petroleum fields, the significant quantity of which is situated within the British sector. Since the 1975, there have been introduced into operation the first marine petroleum fields: Argyle, Fortis, Brent, and others, and on the account of this event the extraction of petroleum has grown sharply, and has amounted to 71% (1981) of the total extraction within the countries of the Western Europe (the 1st place within the Western Europe).

Within the United Kingdom, they extract the large quantity of petroleum from the marine fields, where the operation is conducted mostly from the gushing boreholes, and less often from the mechanized boreholes (the pumping operation). They develop the fields: Fortis (the extraction during the 1980 was 24.6 million tonnes), Ninian (11.4), Piper (10.4), Brent (6.8), Beryl (5.4), Thistle (5.3), Dunlin (5.2), and others. The depths of the embedment of the productive layers is 2400-3000 metres. The yields of the boreholes are high, for example, at the Fortis field, there work 50 gushing boreholes with the total daily average extraction of 68 thousand tonnes. The petroleum is characterized by the high quality: the small content of sulfur (0.33-1.3%), and the small density (820-870 kilograms per cubic metre). The development is conducted at the depths of the sea of more than 100 metres, under the unfavourable climatic conditions, from the stationary drilling platforms of the gravitational type, which are made of steel and reinforced concrete, and are standing on the piles. The lower hollow elements of the platforms, which are made of the reinforced concrete, are serving as the reservoirs for the storage of petroleum. Sometimes, instead of the stationary platforms, they use the floating platforms (the Argyle field), with the wellhead equipment on the bottom of the sea. The petroleum is transported through the petroleum pipelines to the transshipment bases, where this petroleum is processed, and, after the processing, is distributed to the petroleum processing plants. There work within the country 19 processing plants, with the total productive capacity of approximately 125 million tonnes (1979). The largest processing plants are: within the Fawley city (17.3 million tonnes per year), belongs to the "ESSO" company; within the Stanlow city (16.8 million tonnes), belongs to the "Shell" company; on the Green island (10.4 million tonnes), belongs to the "British Petroleum" company. The increase of the extraction of petroleum is planned on the account of the introduction into the operation of the larger quantity of the marine fields (up to 30 fields till the 1990).

The gas industry. In terms of the extraction of the natural gas, the United Kingdom holds the 2nd place (1981) within the Western Europe (19.7% of the extraction), which completely provides the requirements of the country. They extract approximately 90% of the gas from the marine fields. The gas fields are being developed mostly within the southern part of the British sector of the North sea (the Indefatigable, Leman, Hewett, Viking, and West Sole fields), while at the North, there is operated the gas condensate field. The development is conducted at the depth of the sea of up to 180 metres (the depth of the reservoirs is approximately 1300 metres on average) from the platforms, which are made of steel, and are standing on the piles. The gas, which has been extracted, is stored using various methods, including within the underground gas reservoirs, which have been formed during the extraction of the salt using the method for dissolution. The length of the system of the gas pipelines (with the pressure of 6.9 megapascals) from the four coastal terminals of the ports for the receiving of the gas (Bacton, Easington, Theddlethorpe, Saint Fergus) is 5600 kilometres, while the length of the distributing pipelines, which are working at the lower pressures, is 226 thousand kilometres.

The coal industry. The coal industry of the United Kingdom has reached the highest uplift before the 1st World War of the 1914-18, when there functioned within the country 3270 underground mines (with the total annual extraction of 292 million tonnes of coal, while 98 million tonnes of them were exported), and later the coal industry has started to decrease. During the 1947, the coal industry within the United Kingdom has been nationalized (there has been organized the National Coal Administration). By the end of the 70-ies, the extraction of coal has amounted to approximately 50% of the total extraction of mineral coal within the Western Europe; 78% of the coal, which is extracted, are the energetic coals, 2% are anthracites, and 20% are the coking coals. The consumers of the coal are the electric power plants (82.9 million tonnes), and the coke-chemical plants (8.8 million tonnes, 1980).

Approximately 90% of the coal is extracted using the underground method (1981). Within the country, there work approximately 200 underground mines (more than 600 longwall stopes, 1981). The large quantity of the working underground mines (56%) has been built more than 70 years ago, and these mines yield approximately 1/2 of the total underground extraction. There work during less than 40 years only 33 underground mines, while these mines account for 15% of the extraction. Most of the underground mines have been reconstructed during the 60-ies. They extract coal within 12 regions, 10 of which are situated within England; the largest regions (1980) are: the North-Eastern region within the Yorkshire basin (the extraction of the coal is 13.5 million tonnes), the Northern Nottinghamshire region within the Nottinghamshire basin (12.3 million tonnes), and the Western region within the Lancashire and Cumberland basin (11.1 million tonnes). The average productive capacity of the underground mines is 2000 tonnes per day; 1/3 of the extraction arrives from the mines with the annual productive capacity of less than 0.5 million tonnes, and only less than 1/4 of the extraction arrives from the mines with the productive capacity of more than 1 million tonnes (21 mines). The average depth of the development is 500 metres, the maximal depth is up to 1100 metres. At the north-east (Durham), certain underground mines conduct the development under the sea bottom at the distance of 8 kilometres from the shore. The deeply embedded layers have been unsealed using the vertical shafts with the storied crosscuts, while at the depth of up to 150 metres, the layers have been unsealed using the inclined shafts, and within the hilly regions, the layers have been unsealed using the adits. There are being developed the layers with the thickness of 0.6-3.5 metres (70% of the longwall stopes have the thickness of 0.9-1.8 metres), the average thickness of the layer is 1.52 metres. The average daily working load onto the longwall stope during the 1981 has amounted to from 744 tonnes (479 stopes) to 794 tonnes (122 stopes). The angle of the dip of the layers is up to 30 degrees (90% of the longwall stopes have the angle of the dip of 7-8 degrees). The most widespread system for the development is the continuous system; there is also being introduced the system with pillars (25% of the extraction, 1980). The average length of the longwall stope is 190 metres. The control over the roof is performed using the method for the complete caving. The penetration of the mine workings along the layer is conducted mainly by the combined tunneling machines for penetration. Almost all the longwall stopes are mechanized. The coal is extracted with the help of the combined cutter-loader machines (with the helical working tools, and less often with the drilling working tools), and with the help of the plows. The rock mass is transported mostly by the conveyors, while less often there are used the haulages by locomotive or rope. There are used mainly the mechanized roof supports of the supporting type, and the fencing-supporting roof supports (within 80% of the preparatory mine workings, there are used the metallic arched roof supports). During the 1981, there has been used as the fuel approximately 200 million cubic metres of the methane from the underground mines.

There work within the country 63 open pit mines with the average annual productive capacity of 200 thousand tonnes, and 3 open pit mines with the annual productive capacity from 1 to 1.5 million tonnes (1981). The average depth of the development is 30-60 metres, the maximal depth of the development is up to 180 metres, the thickness of the overburden is 17.5 metres on average. There are used for the stripping of the overburden the excavators with the voluminous capacity of the bucket of 10 cubic metres, and there are used for the extraction of the coal the excavators with the voluminous capacity of the bucket of up to 2.3 cubic metres. The coal is transported by the automotive dump trucks (the load lifting capacity is 36-173 tonnes).

There is processed approximately 87% of the coal, the content of the rock within the run-of-mine coal is 30%. There work approximately 200 coal preparation plants (1978) with the productive capacity of 0.2-3.2 million tonnes per year. Approximately 56% of the coal is beneficiated with the usage of the hydraulic jigging, while 35% of the coal is beneficiated with the usage of the gravity beneficiation (within the heavy-medium separators, and within the hydrocyclones), and 9% of the coal is beneficiated with the usage of the froth flotation.

The plan for the development of the coal industry, which has been adopted by the National Coal Administration, and has been approved by the Government (1977), prescribes the increase of the extraction of the coal till the 2000 on the account of the growth of the resources, and on the account of the reconstruction of the old underground mines, and of the construction of the new underground mines (the largest mine is the "Selby" underground mine). The activity of the coal industry is regulated by the laws, which are introduced by the royal inspection for the underground mines and for the open pit mines. There exist 12 county inspections. Within the mining-industrial regions, there work 24 central mine rescue stations, which are unified into 6 groups.

The iron ore industry. Since the end of the 50-ies, the volume of the extraction of the iron ores within the United Kingdom has been decreased sharply in association with their low quality (the average content of Fe is 28%), and with the reorientation onto the high-quality imported raw materials. At the end of the 70-ies, the extraction of the iron ores satisfied less than 10% of the requirements of the country (during the 50-ies, more than 40% of the requirements). The development of the iron ores within the United Kingdom is conducted by the "British Steel Corporation" governmental company at the three major deposits, namely, Corby, Scunthorpe, and Beckermet. Within the Corby region, there work 6 open pit mines, at which they extract annually approximately 2 million tonnes of the ore; within the Scunthorpe region, the "Santon" underground mine (0.8-1.0 million tonnes), and 2 open pit mines, namely, "Yarborough" and "Winterton" (1.2 million tonnes, and 0.5 million tonnes, respectively); and within Cumberland, the "Beckermet" underground mine (approximately 150 thousand tonnes). During the future, the extraction of the low-grade iron ore within the United Kingdom will be decreased, and there will be increased the import of the high-quality iron ore raw materials (more than 60% of Fe). There helps these events the decrease of the expenditures onto the transportation by the special vessels with the large load carrying capacity. For the unloading of these vessels, there have been built the ports within the Port Talbot (which is serving the metallurgical plants within the South Wales), within Redcar (the plants at the north-eastern coast of the United Kingdom), within Immingham (the plant within Scunthorpe), and within Hunterston (the plants within Scotland).

The extraction of the ores of the non-ferrous metals. The development of the ores of the non-ferrous metals has been sharply decreased during the last decades, which event is associated with the depletion of the deposits, with the technological difficulties (the low degree of the recovery of the metal, namely, 65-70%), with the hindered mining-geological conditions (the watering of the mine workings), and so on.

In terms of the extraction of the tin ores, the United Kingdom holds the 1st place within the Western Europe. The major part of the resources of tin, which are being developed, is concentrated on the Cornwall peninsula. Of the several mines, which work within the country, 2 mines, namely, "South Crofty" and "Geevor", conduct the extraction during approximately 200 years. There are being developed the tin-ore veins with the average thickness of 1.2 metres, with the length of up to several kilometres, and with the depth of approximately 100 metres. During the 1980, at the "Geevor" mine, there has been extracted 118 thousand tonnes of the ore, while at the "South Crofty" mine, there has been extracted 210 thousand tonnes, and at the "Wheal Jane" with "Mount Wellington" mines, there has been extracted 280 thousand tonnes. In the small quantities, there are operated the alluvial tin-bearing placers (the region between the Padstow town and the Saint Ives bay). Probably, tin will be also extracted from the complex tin-tungsten ores of the Hemerdon deposit. The ore is processed at the local smelting plant within the North Ferriby town. On the account of its own resources, there are satisfied 20% of the requirement of the country for tin.

The extraction of the ores of lead and zinc is small, and is conducted along the way with the extraction of the ores of other metals, or using the method of recycling the old dumps with the waste rocks. The requirement of the country for tungsten is satisfied almost completely on the account of the import. The non-significant quantity of tungsten is extracted at the "South Crofty" tin mine, and earlier was extracted at the "Carrock Fell" mine (Cumberland). During the future, there is possible the certain expansion of the extraction of this raw material in association with the planned mastering of the Hemerdon (near Plymouth) low-grade deposits of the tin-tungsten ores, which will be developed using the opencast method.

The copper depositions within the United Kingdom have been exhausted, and copper is extracted only with the extraction of tin in the non-significant quantities, but not every year.

The mining-chemical industry. The produce from the mining-chemical industry is represented within the United Kingdom by the table salt, fluorite, bromine, potassium salt, and sulfur. The United Kingdom is the second (after the USA) producer of the table salt among the industrially developed capitalistic and developing countries (5%-6% of the extraction). Approximately 90% of the rock salt is extracted within Cheshire and Shropshire, while the remaining quantity is extracted within the Preesall town (Lancashire), and within the region of the Larne town (Northern Ireland). The total productive capacity of the enterprises for the extraction of the salt is 7 million tonnes (1980). The major quantity of the salt (5.4 million tonnes) is extracted in the form of the brines, using the method for the injection of water into the boreholes, and the pumping of the brine from other boreholes. In order to avoid the forming of the underground voids, there is conducted the monitoring by the various instruments from the surface. The salt, which has been extracted, is widely used within the chemical industry.

The United Kingdom holds the 4th place within the Western Europe in the production of the acidic grades of fluorite. The ores are basically of the low quality, with the content of CaF2 of up to 35% (75% of the total reserves). The large quantity of the ores is extracted using the underground method. The total average annual productive capacity of the beneficiation enterprises for the issuance of the concentrates of fluorite within the United Kingdom during the end of the 70-ies has amounted to 200 thousand tonnes per year (while 80% of these concentrates are of the acidic grades). The large portion of the fluorite is processed at the enterprises within the Cavendish city (Derbyshire), with the productive capacity of 150 thousand tonnes per year; within the Frosterley town (Durham), with the productive capacity of approximately 100 thousand tonnes per year; within the Reader Point city (Derbyshire), with the productive capacity of 80 thousand tonnes per year (during the future, up to 130 thousand tonnes per year); within the Blackden and Whitehill cities (Durham), with the productive capacity of 30 thousand tonnes per year. The requirement of the chemical industry within the United Kingdom for fluorite is satisfied basically on the account of its own production.

The United Kingdom provides approximately 30% of the requirement of the country for barite, for the obtainment of which, there are processed the old dumps with the waste rocks within the Brassington town (Derbyshire). There are contained within the dumps with the waste rocks 30% of barite on average, and also 15.5% of fluorite, and 2.4% of lead. The production of the barium concentrate is 54 thousand tonnes (1980). There is also expected the obtainment of the barium concentrate (more than 30 thousand tonnes) from the drilling cuttings of the petroleum fields within the North sea.

The United Kingdom is the most large within the Western Europe, and the third among the industrially developed capitalistic and developing countries, producer of bromine. They obtain bromine from the sea water (the concentration of Br is 0.06-0.07 grams per litre), using the method for the desorption of bromine with the air at the plant within the Amlwch town (the productive capacity is 26 thousand tonnes, 1980). The major quantity of bromine (90%) is consumed within the country, while 10% goes for export into France, Germany, Switzerland, and so on; approximately 2 thousand tonnes of bromine is imported from Israel. They also obtain magnesia from the sea water within the Hartlepool town (the productive capacity of the plant is 220 thousand tonnes per year on average), which fact basically provides the requirement of the United Kingdom for this product.

The extraction of the potassium salts on the territory of the United Kingdom (North Yorkshire) has been started during the 1974, when there has been commissioned the "Boulby" underground mine, which is belonging to the "Cleveland Potash Ltd." firm. The deposit has been unsealed using two shafts with the depth of approximately 1150 metres. The sylvinite layer has the thickness of 6 metres (the content of K2O is 27%), there is used the room-and-pillar system for development. The ores are beneficiated using flotation. The productive capacity of the "Boulby" underground mine is 800 thousand tonnes of K2O per year, the degree of its usage does not exceed 40% (1980), because of the complicated mining-technological conditions (the gas-bearing property, and so on), and because of the high content of the insoluble substances. There is being researched the possibility for the operation of the new deposit with the potassium salts within this region, using the method for the underground dissolution at the depth of 1200 metres, the thickness of the layer is 9 metres, the content of K2O is 28%.

The bowels of the United Kingdom are poor in terms of the sulfur-containing raw materials; there are no deposits of the natural sulfur and pyrites within the country. Till the start of the 70-ies, they extracted sulfur from anhydrite. Later, they have started to extract the elemental sulfur from the gases of the petroleum processing plants. The installations for the obtainment of sulfur with the total productive capacity of 480 thousand tonnes per year (1980) exist at 7 petroleum processing plants. They obtain sulfur in the small quantity, while recycling the outgoing waste gases from the plants for the non-ferrous metallurgy (4.5%), and the gas cleaning mass from the thermal electric power plants (0.4%). The local produce satisfies for 5%-6% the requirements from the chemical industry within the country for the elemental sulfur. The remaining quantity, namely, approximately 1139 thousand tonnes (1980), is imported from the USA, Mexico, Canada, and France.

The extraction of the clays. In terms of the extraction of kaolin, the United Kingdom holds the 2nd place within the world after the USA (approximately 20% of the extraction of the industrially developed capitalistic and developing countries). Almost all kaolin is extracted on the Cornwall peninsula (near the Saint Austell town, and near the Dartmouth town). The largest producer of kaolin is the "English China Clays Ltd." company. Kaolin is being developed using the opencast method, the stripping ratio is 8, the height of the benches is up to 18 metres. There is used the drilling-blasting method, with the subsequent hydraulic water erosion, and with the hydraulic transportation of the broken material. Per 1 tonne of the refined kaolin, there emerges 8.6 tonnes of the wastes (3.7 tonnes of the coarse sand, 0.9 tonnes of mica, 4 tonnes of the overburden and waste rocks). Near the open pit mines, there are stacked the large sandy dumps with the waste rocks (there are approximately 60 square kilometres of the industrial wastelands within Cornwall). They extract the pottery clays within the United Kingdom near the Bovey river, where the area of the deposit is 46 square kilometres, the thickness of the layers is 1-6 metres, and the quantity of the layers is approximately 40. They extract the refractory clays as the byproduct during the opencast extraction of coal, and they develop the bleaching clays near the Lower Greensand ridge, and near the Bath city.

The non-metallic building materials. The extraction of the gravel, sand, granite, sandstone, and other building materials within the United Kingdom amounts to 1/2 of the entire production of the non-fuel useful minerals. More than 16% of the non-metallic building materials is extracted from the bottom of the sea. The most pure white sand, which is suitable for the manufacturing of the best grades of the transparent glass, is extracted within the "Lochaline" quarry within Scotland. Other sands are used for the manufacturing of the lower grades of glass, and within the metal casting production. There work within the country approximately 200 quarries for the extraction of sandstones, with the total annual productive capacity of approximately 10 million tonnes. There are also being developed the limestones and dolomites. They extract the erupted and metamorphic rocks mostly within Wales, Scotland, and Northern England. The "Buddon Wood" quarry for the extraction of granodiorites, which is the largest quarry within Europe, is situated near the Leicester city, and the designed productive capacity of this quarry is 2.4 million tonnes per year. The quarry belongs to the "Readland Roadstone Ltd." firm.

They extract gypsum and anhydrite mostly within Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire, and also within Cumberland, North Yorkshire, and East Sussex.

The extraction of other useful minerals. They develop the strontium ores using the opencast method with the shallow open pit mines within the Yate parish. There is extracted within the country the small quantity of talc, mostly within the Baltasound town (Shetland Islands, Unst), and also at the "Polyphant" mine near the Launceston town (Cornwall). There is expected the extraction of mica within the region of the deposits with the schists within the Pitlochry town (Scotland), the productivity of the mine will amount to 5 thousand tonnes of mica. Along the way, there will be extracted silica (200 tonnes per year), and the almandine garnet (1 thousand tonnes per year).

The mining mechanical engineering. There is well developed within the country the mining mechanical engineering. The total sales from the producers of the mining-underground equipment during the 1981 were estimated at 694 million pounds sterling, including the coal-cutting machines with the bulk loading ability, ploughs, the tunneling cutting machines and hammer drills, with the total value of 146 million pounds sterling (20 producers), the conveyors, with the value of 106 million pounds sterling (16 producers), the equipment for the haulage, with the value of 10 million pounds sterling (5 producers), the equipment for the preparation of coal, with the value of 10 million pounds sterling (8 producers), the equipment for the beneficiation of other useful minerals, with the value of 16 million pounds sterling (5 producers), the hydraulic roof supports, with the value of 14 million pounds sterling (21 producers). The largest buyers of the equipment are the USA, Canada, Republic of South Africa, Australia, India, and others.

There are engaged in the manufacturing of the mining equipment approximately 90 firms (1979); the most important firms are the "Anderson Strathclyde" company (the Glasgow city), which is specializing in the production of the tunneling equipment (the coal cutting machines with the bulk loading ability, and so on); the "Compair and Holman Brothers" company (the Camborne city), which is manufacturing the drilling equipment for the drilling of the strong rocks; the "Gullick Dobson" company, which is manufacturing the powered roof supports; the "Ransoums" and "Rapier" companies, which are manufacturing the lifting cranes; the "Babcock Minerals Engineering" company, which is manufacturing the equipment for the beneficiation of the ores.

The marine drilling platforms and individual structures for them are built within the United Kingdom mainly by the the firms-contractors, which are engaged in the civil engineering, and are, as a rule, the joint enterprises with the participation of the American, French, and Dutch companies (the "Highlands Fabricators", "McDermott", "McAlpine", and "Laing Offshore" firms).

The protection of the environment. The large part of the disturbed lands within the United Kingdom is associated with the mining industry: the dumps with the waste rocks (approximately 9 thousand hectares), troughs, subsidences, which have been formed as the result of the underground developments, and the exhausted open pit mines. The first measures for the recultivation of the disturbed lands belong to the end of the 19th century. The planned works into this direction have been started after the 1945. The mining laws determine the monetary fund for the recultivation, the conducting of which prescribes the preservation of the upper soil layer (with the thickness of 30 centimetres), and of the subsoil with the thickness of up to 85 centimetres, the leveling of the surface, and the prevention of the cavings and subsidences after the termination of the developments. Since the 1946, the National Coal Administration (jointly with the Ministry for Agriculture) conducts the obligatory works for the recultivation of the lands during the 5 years after the termination of the opencast developments. The cost for the recultivation of 1 hectare is more than 3600 pounds sterling (in terms of the 1982 prices). Within the structure of the specific quantity of the expenditures, the agricultural processing of the land amounts to 28%, the drainage amounts to 36%, the diversion of the water amounts to 23%, the creation of the vegetation hedges amounts to 7%, and the auxiliary works amount to 6%. The total cost for the restoration works reaches 20%-30% of the total expenditures for the development of coal. Since the 1966, the government pays from 50% to 85% of the cost for the restoration works (since the 1975, within the certain regions, 100%of the cost). Till the start of the 70-ies, there has been recultivated approximately 40 thousand hectares of the disturbed lands, their total area within the United Kingdom is decreased.

The shallow opencast developments, after the filling of them, and after the placement of the previously removed soil layer, are used for the agriculture, while the deeper developments are used for the forest plantations, for the creation of the zones for recreation, and for the creation of the artificial water bodies (if their bottom is lower than the level of the ground waters). The dumps with the waste rocks and the spoil tips are partially vegetated, or are used for the filling of the cavings on the surface, and for the road construction. After the filling of the cavings, they conduct the residential and industrial construction on the territory of the former underground developments.

During the development of the marine petroleum fields, for the purpose of the protection of the environment, they conduct the purification of the waters, the containerization or incineration of the wastes.

The scientific institutions, training of the cadres, and publishing. The geological researches within the United Kingdom are conducted by the Institute for Geology, the leading office of which, together with the Geological Service, is located within the Geological Museum within London, while the subordinate offices are situated within various regions of the country. The exploration for coal is conducted by the National Council for the coal industry, and by the two branches of this council, for the mining scientific researches and experimental designing works (near the Burton-on-Trent city), and for the researches of coal (near the Cheltenham city). The branch for the researches in the field of the occupational safety within the underground mines (which is subordinated to the Governmental Administration for Health and Occupational Safety) has the scientific-researching institutions within the Midlands, Buxton, and Sheffield cities. The scientific researches are also conducted by the large firms, for example, the "British Gas Corp." company has five scientific institutions: within London (two), Newcastle, Solihull, and Scotland (the Fife county). The training of the specialists in the field of geology and mining craft is conducted within the series of the universities: within the Birmingham, Leeds, London (the Imperial College, the Royal Mining School), Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, and Strathclyde cities, and also within the Welsh University (the University College within the Cardiff city), and within the School for the Ore-Mining Industry (Cornwall, the Camborne town). There also exist the governmental centres for the education of the foremen and workers for the mining industry, for example the educational centre within the Aberdeen city for the training of the specialists for the marine extraction of petroleum and gas.