UK delays decision on Bank Group’s new coal mine

6 March 2018 (Last Updated March 6th, 2018 11:49)

The UK has postponed making a decision on allowing the Banks Group to build a new open-cast coal mine in North East England.

The UK has postponed making a decision on allowing the Banks Group to build a new open-cast coal mine in North East England.

Northumberland County Council previously agreed last year that the group would be permitted to draw 3 million tonnes of coal through an open cast, also known as a surface mine.

However, Minister for Local Government Sajid Javid later sought a public enquiry after environmentalists opposed the plan, citing that the mine could destroy the natural beauty of Druridge Bay, Highthorn.

"We remain keen to progress our investment and job creation plans at Highthorn as soon as possible, and are therefore extremely disappointed at this further delay."

The Minister for Local Government was scheduled to give a final verdict yesterday, but according to the Banks Group the announcement has been delayed and no new deadline has been given.

Banks Group community relations manager Jeannie Kielty was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We remain keen to progress our investment and job creation plans at Highthorn as soon as possible, and are therefore extremely disappointed at this further delay.”

The UK previously announced plans to phase-out the use of coal for power generation by 2025, which has led to similar campaigns in other countries to decrease reliance on coal-run power plants.

Environmentalist allege that extracting more coal does not align well with the country’s commitment to cutting down greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate pact.

However, the Banks Group states that the Highthorn project is slated to employ 100 people and bring almost $69m in associated deals to the wider community.