Independent audit backs Banks Mining’s operational standards

January 8, 2015 | Brenkley News

An independent audit of Banks Mining’s operational procedures and performance has given the Durham-headquartered firm a glowing report card.

Inspectors from SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, visited five Banks Group sites to assess the company’s competence in the design, development and operation of surface coal mines.

The visit was designed to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the company’s management systems, and to confirm that Banks’ Mining operations continue to meet with all the requirements of the key ISO 14001:2004 environmental management standard, which it has held ever since its introduction a decade ago.

And after conducting a detailed, wide-ranging review across the business, SGS’s inspectors did not find a single concern over non-conformity with any of the required standards.

The SGS team visited the Shotton, Brenkley Lane and Rusha surface mine sites, as well as Banks’ West Cornforth site and its headquarters building in Meadowfield, and compiled its report based on staff interviews, observation of activities and review of documentation and records.

Banks Mining employs around 240 people across its three operational surface mines, with the 200 people working at its Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites making the family-owned firm one of Northumberland’s biggest private-sector employers.

Gavin Styles, executive director at Banks Mining, says: “Working to the highest possible operational, environmental and management standards is an essential part of Banks’ make-up, and we’re fully and permanently committed to working our surface mine sites as safely, responsibly and efficiently as possible.

“The findings of this excellent report are based on the hard work and dedication of everyone who works in our mining business, both on our three active sites and at West Cornforth and Meadowfield, and they should all take a great deal of satisfaction in the feedback that we’ve received.

“Coal is still responsible for generating around 40 per cent of the energy that we all use, and the coal we produce provides substantial numbers of jobs for local people, supports British industry and electricity generation, creates considerable capital for investment in community improvement projects, and helps to provide a responsible and reliable source of indigenous coal that reduces the UK’s reliance on imports from often-unstable and distant overseas markets.

“While we’re very pleased to get such positive feedback from SGS’s inspectors, we know that we can’t rest on our laurels – maintaining these high standards is always an ongoing process, and we’ll continue to look for ways in which we can improve on what we do and how we do it.”

For further information on Banks Mining, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/banks-group/banks-mining

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