February 14, 2012 | Brenkley News
Banks Mining, part of the Banks Group, was named Surface Miner Of The Year at the annual IHS McCloskey Coal UK conference in London, an award which is voted for by surface mining firms across the UK, as well as by their customers and suppliers.
The award recognises excellence in every aspect of a surface mining company’s operations, from business achievements and operational efficiency through to environmental performance and effective site management.
Banks’ commitment to positive, effective interaction with the communities around its operational sites, and the ways in which it works to ensure that tangible benefits result for them from the company’s presence in their area, was especially noted as being a prime example for the industry to follow.
Banks Mining employs more than 200 people, and has operated more than 100 surface mining sites in the UK over the last three decades, across north east England, Yorkshire, the Midlands and Scotland.
It currently operates the Shotton surface mine in south east Northumberland and the Brenkley Lane surface mine in Newcastle, and has just begun preparatory operations at its new Rusha site in West Lothian, where around 50 new jobs will be created over the next six months.
Banks expects to submit a planning application for the proposed Ferneybeds surface mine near Widdrington Station to the north of Ashington in Northumberland later this year, and is also responsible for the creation of Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform sculpture, which will form the centre piece of a new public park being built on land on the county’s Blagdon Estate.
This is the second award that Banks has won already this year, after the landscape management work carried out at the former Moss Carr surface mine site to the east of Leeds was named as the winner of the Landscape category at the prestigious Leeds Architectural Awards.
Gavin Styles, executive director at Banks Mining, says: “This is a fantastic achievement and one that reflects the commitment and dedication of every member of the team, from those that initially identify potential site locations and develop our planning applications through to those that shape, work and then restore the sites that we operate.
“The on and off-site jobs that our surface mines support and the money that they bring into their respective local economies make a real difference to the areas in which we work, as do the associated benefits funds that offer substantial support to local community and environmental projects.
“The recognition given to the community aspects of our operations is especially gratifying – we’ve long recognised that involving all relevant parties in the development and operation of surface mine sites is the best way to ensure that they run as smoothly as possible, and we’re very proud of the record that we’ve built in this area.
“Indigenous coal has a central part to play in ensuring we’re able to meet the UK’s energy consumption requirements for the foreseeable future, and Banks will remain at the forefront of industry efforts to provide this vital resource in the most operationally and environmentally efficient way possible.”