However, there was also an opencast coal site on the outskirts of Chorley, which was a focus for picketing.
Exploration for hydrocarbons has resulted in drilling to basement in many basins and, where coal seams occur close to the surface, opencast mining has exposed the strata.
It will trip off the tongue of First Minister and would-be eco-hero, Jack McConnell - and it will become a new battle cry for families who fear they are being poisoned by opencast mining and landfill dumps.
Furthermore, most of the research and development conducted during the previous 20 years that has borne any fruit has been focused on opencast mining and metallurgy.
Namdeb conducts opencast diamond mining operations over nearly 130 kilometres of the coastal strip northwards of the Orange River.
This is particularly relevant in the West Gower section where there are no modern mines or opencast sites.
Earthwatch's ‘Cradle for Nature’ project was designed to develop a green way of using trees to create new soils on barren wasteland left behind after opencast mining.
The project envisages over 400 opencast mines in an area collectively estimated to be home to around 1,500 tigers - one quarter of the entire global population.
However, with prices rising to £50 a ton Scottish Coal, Scotland's biggest producer, has decided to open and extend opencast mines in east Ayrshire, south Lanarkshire, the Lothians and Fife.
Plans are in the pipeline to transform the vast opencast mine near the village with one of the biggest housing projects in South Yorkshire.