Abstract

Report of a meeting of the British Sedimentological Research Group of the Geological Society held at the Queen's University of Belfast on 27–28 September 1988. The organizers were J. Parnell, I. G. Meighan and I. C. Legg.

The existence of lignite in the Tertiary deposits of the Lough Neagh Basin has been known since the eighteenth century. Recent drilling by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and several exploration companies has shown that the lignite deposits occur on a substantial scale and, therefore, may provide a major source of energy, particularly as a fuel for electricity generation. The meeting was convened as a forum for the presentation of results by a multi-disciplinary group of geologists, chemists, civil engineers, chemical engineers and economists concerned with lignite deposits, its extraction and upgrading. Fourteen pagers were presented, followed by a one-day field excursion to North Antrim and the exploration office of BP Coal Ltd.

The geological background to the deposits was described by H. Cherry, who showed that the Oligocene Lough Neagh basin developed on the irregular surface of the Palaeocene Antrim Lava Group and explained the allocation of licenses for lignite exploration by the N.I. Department of Economic Development. I. C. Legg outlined the distribution of lignite deposits within the basin, and gave details of particularly rich deposits in the regions of Crumlin, Co. Antrim; Coagh, Co. Tyrone; and Ballymoney, Counties Antrim and Londonderry. Lignite deposits also occur to the south of Lough Neagh in Co. Armagh but not at a

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