August 12, 2010 | Community News
Plans to extract an additional two million tonnes of coal from the Shotton surface coal mine in Northumberland have been submitted by north east company Banks Mining for assessment by the County Council.
The Shotton additional scheme will not require any land outside the existing site to be mined or any increase in daily traffic movements.
Located on the Blagdon Estate to the west of Cramlington, the Shotton mine has been active since the beginning of 2008. It now employs 140 people on site, and injects over £15m into the regional economy every year.
Around 3.4 million tonnes of coal, two million tonnes of shale and 750,000 tonnes of fireclay were originally approved to be mined over the eight-year lifetime of the scheme, finishing in 2016. Banks is now asking for an extension of the overall life of the site until 2018 to enable the additional coal supplies to be recovered.
If the proposal is approved, this will mean that extraction will finish on site in 2016, with full restoration of the site to be completed during 2018.
Banks would operate within the current Shotton site boundaries to extract the extra coal, and site operations will be carried out on only a further three per cent (around ten hectares) of the site area, because most of the resources are under land already approved for operational use.
A number of public exhibitions were hosted by Banks earlier in the year to outline the new proposals to local people, and to gather feedback from them about their views on the plans.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, adds: “We gathered a great deal of feedback through public consultation which has proved very useful in finalising the proposal that we have now submitted.
“Banks has made a significant investment in the south east Northumberland area over more than two decades, in terms of employment, infrastructure and community support, and we are very keen to continue in this vein.
“The Shotton mine has now been operating very successfully for more than two years, especially with regard to the positive relationships we maintain with local communities, and we believe there are strong operational, environmental and economic arguments for recovering this additional coal now which we hope will be recognised by Northumberland County Council.”
A decision on the planning application is expected in early 2011.
Anyone who would like more information on the proposals can contact Emily Hooson at Banks Mining on 01740 658500 or via email@example.com