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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Mining firm opens up to public view

THE West Cumbria Mining company which wants to open a new offshore coking coal mine, is hosting the first of two drop-in events next week, so the public can find out more about their proposals.

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Modern production: West Cumbria Mining

By Margaret Crosby

They will be held at the Beacon Museum,Whitehaven on Tuesday, July 15 and at the Old College Hall, the Priory Church, St Bees on Wednesday, July 16 (3pm to 8.30pm).

The new mine would be offshore with headworks between Whitehaven and St Bees.

Managers will be available to discuss their proposals. Display stands about modern mining, opportunities for the area and next steps in the project will be on show.

The aim is to start limited onshore drilling, testing the quality of the coal, in a few months; approaches to local landowners will be made soon. Four bore-holes are likely, each in place for about two weeks.

Mark Kirkbride, chief executive, West Cumbria Mining said: “We expect 500 people to be employed by the mine and there would also be opportunities for local businesses. It would be a prestigious project for the area, and for the UK.”

Coking coal is used in making steel and currently it is imported to Britain and most of Europe from America and Australia.

“We are aiming to develop a mine that would produce two to three million tonnes of coking coal per year, equivalent to half the amount used in the UK steel industry.”

Currently the UK has crude steel production facilities at Port Talbot, Scunthorpe and Teesside.

“At the drop-in events people can learn about modern mining, which is very different from the image many people have of mining in the last century,” says Mr Kirkbride. “21st century mines have good safety records and high environmental standards. We want to build a mine in West Cumbria which local people will feel pride in.”

Meetings will be held with local councils to discuss the project.


Have your say

This scheme,if successful,will be a windfall for Copeland.Using modern technology should safeguard both the environment and the safety of the workforce.Also,traffic disruption would be minimised by reinstating the 'Brake'incline railway between Haig Pit/Marchon/Ladysmith and the mainline railhead at Corkickle!

Posted by John H on 16 July 2014 at 21:54

I read recently per your journal that Whitehaven seeks to be a major tourist centre with cruise ships calling, quite frankly coal mining and high value tourism does not really mix - Whitehaven have a decision to make......

Posted by Jim on 11 July 2014 at 08:52

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