Officials in the UK have given approval to the first coal operation in the region in three decades, with plans for the project owned by West Cumbria Mining to become the world’s first net-zero mine supplying met coal to the steel industry.
WCM said recently that it received a decision from the Secretary of State on 7 December approving the planning application of the Woodhouse Colliery.
The decision, supported by the planning inspector following the company’s planning inquiry in 2021, means the project can now move forward. WCM has said its net-zero plan involves the asset being low level, buried or visually screened to keep impacts to an absolute minimum.
“The domed design of the fully enclosed structures is a modern and innovative approach designed to copy the curves of the hills in the surrounding area with a view to blending in once screening has matured,” it said.
“The coal will be processed in a plant which is a ‘building within a building’ to further minimise noise, dust and light impacts. This preparation plant will include covered storage of coal from the mine as well as coal product after washing.”
The project near Whitehaven, according to local media outlets, will export a large percentage of the tonnage from the mine. Local council officials already granted permission for the mine through 2049.
Privately owned WCM said it believes there are more than 750 million tonnes of coal resources across its licence area and that the mine could produce 2-3 million tonnes annually.
Source: West Cumbria Mining