November 29, 2013 | Brenkley News
People in south east Northumberland have been taking a look at plans to mine around 300,000 additional tonnes of coal at a north east surface mine which will help sustain around 150 local jobs.
Regional employer Banks Mining has identified an additional area for mining operations on the western side of its Shotton surface mine, which it has named Shotton Triangle, and held a public exhibition of its plans for working it at Stannington Village Hall to enable local people to see the details of the proposal and ask any questions they had about them.
Banks has been successfully operating the Shotton mine since 2008, and, along with the company’s nearby Brenkley Lane surface mine, currently contributes around £35m to the regional economy every year.
The two sites also 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.
The Shotton Triangle 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.
Up to 300,000 tonnes of coal would be extracted from Shotton Triangle, which would then be transported by road to the port of Blyth where it is loaded onto rail.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “We’re grateful to those who took the time to come and talk to us about our Shotton Triangle proposals, and were pleased with their general appreciation of the positive impact that our work in the area brings to local communities in terms of employment, supply chain support, community funding and environmental improvements.
“Coal will remain a central part of the UK’s energy mix for the foreseeable future, with production from appropriate domestic sites such as Shotton and Brenkley Lane being far more desirable than relying on imports for environmental, economic and supply continuity reasons.
“We have worked successfully in this part of Northumberland for more than three decades, and the Shotton Triangle scheme will help us reinforce our position as one of the county’s largest private sector employers.”
A planning application is expected to be submitted before the end of the year. Anyone wanting more information on the proposals can visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/shotton, or contact the Banks Mining development relations team on 0191 378 6100 or via email@example.com