Surface Coal Mining to create jobs for local people

August 23, 2012 | Community News

A mini jobs boom is being delivered to West Lothian, thanks to the firm behind a surface coal mine near Breich. 

Up to 50 jobs will be created at Banks Mining’s Rusha site and it is anticipated that many positions will be filled by local people living in the communities surrounding the mine. 

The surface mine itself is estimated to produce around 1.5million tonnes of coal over its lifetime and experienced workers, with a range of skills will be needed at all stages of its operation; including banksmen, fitters, machine operators and labourers among others. 

Jim Donnelly, director at Banks Mining, said: “At Banks, we take every care to ensure that our development sites benefit neighbouring communities as much as possible and one way in which they can is through the possibility of employment.

“Wherever possible we look to hire local people and local contractors to carry out the work required, helping us strengthen the economy of the local areas and leave a lasting positive legacy. 

“We are fully committed to our development with care approach and -all of our sites evolve through close consultation with the local community and from engaging with the community during our planning process, we discovered that in the case of the Rusha project, jobs and employment are of particular importance to the area. 

“This is why we are delighted to be in a position to offer this number of jobs to people from the area and offer benefits which really matter to them.” 

So far over 150 people from in around the West Lothian area have applied for positions at the surface coal mine, with 90% of these coming from workers living within a 20 mile radius of the site which highlights the real need for local employment. 

In its initial stages, the site is already employing 13 local workers, 92% of whom live within 15 miles of the site and all of them living within 20 miles of the site.  This initial team are, among other things, responsible for building crossing points on the water mains which cross the site, constructing soil screening mounds and putting in other infrastructure. 

Further positions will become available as the site progresses and these will be filled as part of a phased job implementation process. Positions remaining to be filled include:, plant operators, fitters, labourers and dump truck drivers. 

Claire Hammond, head of Neo Recruitment, said: “Having grown up in West Lothian and now running a recruitment business here, I am all too aware of the shortage of jobs locally. 

It is always good to hear positive news about new vacancies being created for local people such as the new jobs with Banks Mining at the Rusha surface coal mine.  Hopefully this will help to provide some excellent opportunities for those seeking work at the moment in West Lothian.” 

Rusha is latest surface mine to be developed by Banks Mining which has experience of mining and restoring over 100 mines across Scotland and England. 

Surface mining is an operation which involves the recovery of coal deposits from the ground through the removal of of overlying rock by excavators and dumptrucks. Approximately one third of electricity generated in the UK is produced by coal fired power stations – making coal a vital fuel source. 

Banks Mining is committed to safe, responsible and efficient mining operations to help contribute to the country energy needs. 

Jim added: “Our engineers carefully design sites to ensure maximum coal recovery with minimum disruption and we ensure that on every site we have an extensive restoration plan in place to mitigate the effects of the mining. 

“Not only are our sites designed to minimise impact on the environment of the area, but they also strengthen the economy. 

“As a nation we currently import in the region of 70% of the coal we use to generate electricity in the UK. 

“That is why the development of new surface mines is important. By mining our own coal from mines such as Rusha, we are ensuring that we create UK jobs, supporting local businesses who provide support services to surface mines and help to provide security of supply for the country’s electricity needs.”

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