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The last mine in the Benelux

On September 30, 1992, the Limburg 'Charbonnages d'Helchteren-Zolder' dug up the last lump of coal in the Benelux.

There were seven Limburg mines. Zolder was the last to close its doors. Operations only began in 1930, a latecomer. The preparatory work took no less than 23 years due to a series of setbacks.

You can visit the extraction machine building from 1924 and 1925, which houses a historic collection of compressed air compressors. One of the two headframes has been preserved, but the first, smaller air and material headframe was demolished after the closure of the mine.

Air factory

In 2012, the restoration of the extraction machine buildings and the compressor hall started. The photos below show the condition before (in 2007, left) and after (in 2015, right) the restoration.

The "ZLDR Air Factory" opened in 2015. The restored part outlines how compressed air for the underground machines and oxygen for the miners were produced. You walk into the monumental compressor hall.

According to the Immovable Heritage Inventory, the water tower and the 55-meter-high concrete factory chimney have also been preserved, both buildings by the Monnoyer company from 1913.

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