We discovered this location a long time ago. I paid a quick reconnaissance visit in May 2006. We revisited twice in June and July 2006. In May I just didn't have the time to do a long visit. So I went back in June and explored the storehouse and the machinery building. In the machinery building I discovered there were some guys cutting copper. They noticed me and chased me away. A cutting tool is no match for a snapshot cam. But I ran faster. In July we paid a visit with the team to the machinery building and the shafttower. This time no thieves, but in the cellar we discovered a few bags with copper piping and wire and cutting tools.
It is a nice location, but it's located in a busy area. The buildings are being renovated.
The coal in the Kempen (Campina) was discovered by André Dumont in 1901. From 1917 till 1938 several coal mines were build. The mines did very well, being very modern compared to the mines in the south of Belgium. In 1958 the international coal-crisis struck. The prices went down and the mines lost money. Two of the mines merged in 1964. In 1966 one of the mines in the Kempen had to be closed due to European regulation. This caused big riots, in which two men were killed. The Belgian state then decided to keep the remainder of the mines open for as long as possible and pay for its losses. In the 1980's it became clear that prices wouldn't rise and the mines would be loss-making forever. This led to the closure of all the mines in the period from 1987 until 1992. Most of the buildings were torn down, some of them were rescued and house museums, cinemas and shopping malls.
The mining at Zolder started in 1930. In 1992 the coalmine was closed. In 2012 all buildings except the tower will be restored.