October 29, 2014 | Mining News
A regional employer’s planning application to mine around 290,000 additional tonnes of coal at a North East surface mine which will help sustain around 150 local jobs has been approved by Northumberland County Council.
Family-owned Banks Mining had requested permission to work an additional area on the western side of its existing Shotton surface mine, which it has named Shotton Triangle.
The extraction will take two years from commencement to completion, and will run concurrently with the existing site, which is located on the Blagdon Estate to the west of Cramlington.
No overall extension of time is required for this additional extraction, with restoration of the entire Shotton site still scheduled to be carried out by October 2019.
A separate planning application regarding an area in the south west of the Shotton site, known as Shotton South West, was approved by the County Council during the summer.
Banks has worked in South East Northumberland for more than three decades, and currently employs over 200 people across the Shotton and nearby Brenkley Lane mining sites.
They contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain, as well as more than £400,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council, and have enabled Banks to donate around £800,000 to local groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last decade alone through the Banks Community Fund.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, says: “The discussions we had with local people and community leaders about this project were very positive, and the enduring positive impact that Shotton has in terms of local employment, supply chain support, community funding and environmental improvements was widely appreciated.
“The Shotton surface mine operates in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and enables us to make significant, long-term contributions to both the local and regional economies, so we’re naturally very pleased that the County Council has seen fit to allow us to extend our work there by approving the Shotton Triangle planning application.
“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 from an economic, employment and environmental point of view than relying on imports from often-unstable overseas markets.
“We have worked successfully in this part of Northumberland for more than three decades, and the Shotton Triangle and South West projects will help us reinforce our position as one of the county’s largest private sector employers.”
For further information on the Shotton surface mine, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/shotton