Maurits State Mine | Former main building - Geleen
The Dutch state acquired the Maas fields in 1911 and drilling soon followed in various places in Limburg in search of coal. Based on the findings of the drilling, it was decided to locate the state mine at this site. Railways were built to transport the coal and in 1916, the mine was officially named after the 17th-century Prince Maurice. This was followed by ten years of hard work on the shafts and scaffolding, before the mine was put into operation in 1926.
Until 1967, the coal type 'grease coal' was produced at the Maurits State Mine. In those years, the mine was enlarged once more to a depth of 810 metres and expanded by a third shaft. This made it the largest coal mine in the Netherlands. But tragedies also took place at the mine.
During World War II in 1942, Geleen was accidentally bombed by the Royal Air Force. This also hit the state mine, causing substantial fires. The miners staying underground at the time were evacuated from the shaft via a ladder. Still, not all the workers managed to survive: one miner and one factory worker were killed. Two others were seriously injured.
Fate also struck in the year 1958. On 3 March that year, a pillar collapsed, killing seven miners: three Dutch, two Italians, a Pole and an Englishman.
Nevertheless, each time they managed to have production up and running again within a short time. Despite its high productivity, the Maurits was also the first mine to close its doors after the economy around coal declined in the early 1960s. In this industrial area, you will find the old gate and main entrance of Maurits State Mine.