Banks Mining makes multi-million pound plant investment at Northumberland surface mine

March 3, 2015 | Brenkley News

North East employer Banks Mining has made a multi-million pound investment in its regional operations through the purchase of new ‘state of the art’ trucks for use at one of its sites in South East Northumberland.

The family-owned firm has taken delivery of three Caterpillar 777G off-highway dump trucks, which are being used to move overburden material at its Brenkley Lane site near Cramlington.

With a capacity of 100 tonnes, the CAT 777G is acknowledged as one of the ‘best in class’ for the surface mining industry, and provides a range of fuel efficiency and operational improvements on previous models, as well as lower noise emissions, improved durability, and easier control systems for operatives.

The new trucks have been procured through the Boldon branch of plant and equipment supplier Finning, as part of Banks’ policy of working with local suppliers wherever possible, and Banks has also agreed a repair and maintenance contract for the trucks with the local Finning team for the next five years.

Durham-headquartered Banks Mining has worked in South East Northumberland for more than three decades, and currently employs over 200 people across its Shotton and nearby Brenkley Lane mining sites.

The two sites contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain, as well as more than £700,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council through the two projects, and have enabled Banks Mining to donate around £800,000 to local groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last decade alone through the Banks Community Fund.

Simon Moody, customer account manager at Finning’s Boldon office, says: “The off highway trucks that Banks Mining has taken from us are the best available in their field, and the feedback we’re getting from the plant operators that are now working in them has been extremely positive.

“Working with a customer like Banks Mining who are on our doorstep brings real benefits for both parties – their investment in our local office helps to sustain employment and acknowledges the quality of the service we provide, while we’re always close at hand to support the ongoing management of the new vehicles on the Brenkley Lane site.”

Gavin Styles, executive director at Banks Mining, adds: “It’s important for us to regularly refresh our plant fleet, so that we know we’re working our surface mining sites in a safe, responsible and efficient way, with sensitivity for the communities that host our operations.

“The benefits we’re getting from these new machines in terms of reduced noise emissions, improved fuel efficiency and greater operational efficiencies are already very clear.

“We’re lucky to have a wide range of high quality suppliers based within our home region from which we’re able to source many of the products and services required for our North East mining sites, and their collective expertise, combined with that of our mining, plant and construction teams, enables us to work with maximum efficiency.

“The coal we produce at our Northumberland sites sustains substantial numbers of jobs for local people, supports British industry and electricity generation, creates considerable capital for investment in community improvement projects, heats homes across our region and helps to provide a responsible and reliable source of indigenous coal that reduces the UK’s reliance on imports that may have travelled thousands of miles to reach us.

“We have a highly skilled workforce at Shotton and Brenkley Lane, as well as the in-house training capabilities that are essential to introducing them to new technologies like this, and we’ll continue to make investments in them wherever we see appropriate opportunities.”

For more information on the Brenkley Lane site please visit

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