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Table No. 2 shows that in 1906 the output was 16,746,702 statute tons of coal and 115,579 tons of fireclay, together with a few tons of ironstone, oilshale, and ganister. Coal shows an increase of 1,108,106 tons. Although the total coal raised this year is greater than in 1905, the present output has been exceeded in two previous years, viz., 1902 and 1903. Of the coal raised, North Wales contributed 3,169,994 and Cheshire 359,632 tons. The demand for coal in 1906 has been very similar to the two previous years, perhaps a little better in 1906 as I find fewer hands have produced a larger quantity which shows that the pits have been at work more days.
The quantity of mineral raised per person employed below ground was 344 tons, and per person above and below ground 277 tons, against 319 and 256 respectively in 1905. This production per person employed is better than for some years, showing that the pits have worked more regularly. It must always be borne in mind that this individual effectiveness is governed by the number of days the pits are open.
It is generally admitted that the coal miner produces more tons per day when he only has the opportunity of working, say, three days a week, than he does when he is working full; probably he works harder and stays below longer, but it is clear he possesses a reserve of strength which he can utilize on occasion. In many mines, no doubt, individual effectiveness is seriously diminished by the fact that the empty trams are delayed by bad roads and unsatisfactory haulage arrangements.
I estimate the selling price of coal at the mines in this district to have averaged something like 7s. 2d, per ton or twopence more than for the previous year.
This figure must not be considered absolute as I have no means of verifying it by actual statistics. North Wales coal realises a slightly higher price than West Lancashire, but slack or small coal is more valuable in Lancashire than in Wales, indeed in Lancashire this class of coal appears to have become permanently more valuable.
The output of coal for the United Kingdom in 1906 was 251,050,809 statute tons, an increase of 14,939,659 tons as compared with 1905, and considerably greater than in any previous year.
Coal Cutting by Machinery.—The quantity of coal worked by means of mechanical coal cutters this year was 712,458 tons against 592,903 in 1905. There were 106 machines in use or nine more than in 1905. The annual get per machine works out at 6,721 tons and the machined coal represents 4.25 per cent. of the total quantity raised. Thirteen separate firms now patronise coal-cutting machines, but of these, one firm alone produces more than one-third of the total quantity won by machinery. Machines driven by electricity do not appear to find much favour as yet, as they are found to be less reliable than those actuated by compressed air.
Types of coal-cutting machines in Mr. Hall's District at the end of 1906.
TABLE (3). SUMMARY of Fatal and Non-Fatal Accidents, classified according to Place and Cause.
There were no Accidents from Explosions of Fire-damp or Coal Dust at Coal Mines during the year.
· TABLE 4.
ACCIDENTS from Falls of Roof and SIDE, classified according to the Place where
There were no Accidents with Explosives at Coal Mines during the year.
Of the above, no persons were killed, but three injured while illegally riding, and two persons were killed and two injured by going in front instead of behind tubs while moving them by hand on inclined roads.
* The term "waggons” includes bogies, corves, hutches, trams, trolleys, trucks, tubs.
The following table shows at a glance the various kinds of accidents and the number of deaths caused thereby during each year since the passing of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1872, and the increase or decrease during the period :
Note.-Cheshire appears in 1901 for the first time.
The following statement shows at a glance the proportion of separate fatal accidents and lives lost to the number of persons employed and to the quantity of minerals raised, and also the death-rate per 1,000 persons employed for the year 1906 and for each previous year since the passing of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1872 :
NOTE.-Cheshire appears in 1901 for the first time.