The UK Coal Authority (http://www.coal.gov.uk) aims “to facilitate the proper exploitation of the Nation’s coal resources, whilst providing information and addressing liabilities for which the Authority is responsible, in a professional, efficient and open manner”.
If you own or are purchasing a property in a coal mining area there is a search service that will check whether or not the property might be affected by past or existing mining activity. The gazetteer (under Information Services) gives an indication of places in Great Britain that may, or may not, require a mining search to be performed. If you are thinking of moving within the UK it would be as well to check this site as well as the Environment Agency’s ‘In Your Backyard‘ (http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/maps/), which tells you if the area is at risk of flood and whether there’s a landfill site near your house.
The Coal Authority site also has reports on mining activity in the UK and statistics on production. There are links to sites that cover coal mining related topics and information on technologies. The latter includes coal gasification, cleaner coal technologies and environmental issues. These technology ‘fact sheets’ are a good starting point if you need to get up to speed on the industry jargon and how it all works.