Yesterday at the West Cumbria Mining Open Day

The Chief Executive Officer Mark KirkBride insists that there will be no induced Siesmic activity from the coal mining and that the close proximity to Sellafield is not a problem …but refused to be videoed or recorded saying that.
He said that  there is no requirement in this planning application for any mention of Siesmic activity but also said that they have sent in documentation to the Office for Nuclear Regulation “for approval. ” I asked if we could have sight of that documentation  to inform our response to CCC (which needs to be in by 10th July) but no apparently we cannot have sight of that.
Also the lifecycle carbon footprint is not yet available for public to view and from what the CEO said it is pretty meaningless anyway as it stops short of the coking process, the carbon footprint of which is “the responsibility of the steel producers.”   Not all the coal mined will be for “coking’ (metallurgical)..according to the company’s Environmental Statement
“At full annual production the mine will extract:
  • 2.43 million tonnes of metallurgical coal;
  • 350,000 tonnes of lower grade ‘middlings’ coal; and
  • 150,000 tonnes of rock overburden

Metallurgical and middlings coal will go to the port of Redcar for export to European steel and industrial plants.”

This is planned to continue for 50 years accessing new coal drifts using the old sulphur (anhydrite ) mine entrance at St Bees
  • 80% of the coal mined is for export.
The CEO  says the sparks we can see clearly on their own video of “modern mining methods” will not cause explosion or fire (despite the Whitehaven mining area being notorious for methane)
We leafleted in Whitehaven and did some banner waving From what West Cumbrian Mining have been saying we should have been pelted out of town with rotten eggs.    It is clear that their claim that over  97% of people locally are in favour is wildly optimistic, certainly we spoke to a lot  of people who are at least dubious about it despite the persuasive “green” credentials plus the shameless bribery of jobs and good times ahead.
The lack of scrutiny over this plan is scary.
If planning permission is granted this vast new coal mine “Woodhouse Colliery would be the first new deep coal mine in the UK for more than 30 years.”


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