Get a coal mining licence or other consent

How to find out if a coal mining licence or other consent is needed and how to apply.

You will need a licence for coal mining operations or another consent for any activity which enters or passes through the Coal Authority’s property.

When carrying out investigation or treatment of coal mining activities for development you’ll need to get a coal mining permit instead.

Coal mining operations which require a licence

You will need a licence for

  • surface coal mining
  • underground coal mining
  • underground coal gasification

It’s an offence to carry out coal mining operations without a licence.

  • deep energy boreholes
  • exploitation of coal methane
  • exploration for coal
  • incidental coal which needs to be removed as part of a development
  • minewater heat recovery

Coal Authority and shale gas exploration

The Coal Authority does not grant licences for shale gas exploration.

The regulatory body for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is the Oil and Gas Authority.

In the event that any proposed drilling passes through coal deposits or workings within Great Britain, then the Coal Authority, as the owner of these, will need to be approached for permission.

Typically, this will take the form of a deep energy borehole access agreement.

View the guidance notes and application form for a deep energy borehole access agreement

View the guidance document on fracking: developing Shale Gas in the UK

To apply for a licence or other consent you will need to:

Coal Authority licensing and permissions team

Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
NG18 4RG

Monday to Thursday: 8:45am to 5:00pm
Friday: 8:45am to 4:30pm

Published 9 October 2014
Last updated 8 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Coal Authority statement about shale gas exploration added
  2. First published.