November 18, 2013 | Brenkley News
Plans to mine around 300,000 additional tonnes of coal at a north east surface mine which will help sustain around 150 local jobs are set to go on show.
Regional employer Banks Mining has been successfully operating the Shotton surface mine in south east Northumberland since 2008, and along with the company’s nearby Brenkley Lane surface mine currently contributes around £35m to the regional economy every year.
Banks has now identified an additional area for mining operations on the Shotton site’s western side, which has been named Shotton Triangle, and will be holding a public exhibition of its plans for working it between 3pm and 7pm on Monday 18 November at Stannington Village Hall.
Banks’ representatives will be available at the event to discuss the details of the proposal, and to answer any questions that visitors might have about them.
The additional work will take one year to excavate, but would run concurrently with the existing site and would require no overall extension of time. Full restoration of the entire Shotton site would be carried out by October 2019.
Banks has maintained an operational presence in this area for more than three decades, and recently instigated a new apprenticeship scheme which has seen four local young people join its plant maintenance team at the Shotton and Brenkley Lane mines, as well as receiving a comprehensive two-year training programme that will be delivered by Northumberland College.
The two sites already contribute more than £400,000 in business rates every year, and if the Shotton Triangle plans are approved, it would enable Banks to extend the support it provides for local facilities through its Banks Community Fund, which has already seen £700,000 given to community groups, environmental projects and other good causes in Northumberland over the last nine years.
Up to 300,000 tonnes of coal would be extracted from Shotton Triangle, which would then be transported by road to for loading onto rail at the port of Blyth.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “We strive to operate our Shotton surface mine in a safe, responsible and efficient way and if approved, this additional work will enable us to maintain our position as one of Northumberland’s largest private sector employers.
“Coal will remain a central part of the UK’s energy mix for the foreseeable future, with production from appropriate domestic sites being far more desirable than relying on imports for environmental, economic and supply continuity reasons.
“The additional work we’re looking to undertake at Shotton will enable us to continue our long-term investment in local jobs, the local supply chain, the local and regional economy and local communities, and the visitor centre that is currently being built at Northumberlandia, which the Banks Community Fund is funding, is a further visible reminder of the positive social impact that our work brings to this area.”
Anyone wanting more information on the Shotton Triangle proposals but who is unable to attend the exhibition should contact the Banks Mining development relations team on 0191 378 6100, or via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Shotton site please www.banksgroup.co.uk/shotton