HC Deb 29 January 1948 vol 446 cc178-9W
91. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the cost of producing one ton of opencast coal; and what price is charged to the consumer.

Mr. Gaitskell

The average cost of producing opencast coal for the year to 31st March, 1947, the latest period for which precise information is available, was 27s. 1d. a ton. This includes the removal and replacement of topsoil and overburden and the extraction of the coal. In addition, expenditure in respect of prospecting, royalties and compensation, operation of screening and loading plants and stocking grounds, maintenance and amortization of plant, and establishment charges, is estimated to amount during the same period, to approximately 18s. 7d. a ton, making a total cost of 45s. 8d. a ton. The selling price of opencast coal is related to that of deep-mined coal of similar quality and the average proceeds of sale during the same period were 36s. a ton.