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Activists welcome the end of open pit mines in Britain after recent victory | mining




Activists are welcoming the end of open pit mines in Britain after a long struggle over a final application for a new mine at the former coal hub.

Banks Group’s decision not to appeal the rejection of a proposed plan outside Newcastle on Tyne means Britain has reached the end of the road to surface coal mining with Scotland.

Neither side has a non-coal open pit compared to the nine mines that operated only in the UK 10 years ago, weighing nearly 3 million tonnes, while the two remaining mines in Wales are due to gradually shut down.

Open pit mining, or surface mining, is a quarrying technique that excavates the overlying rock stored nearby when the pit is created, exposing a coal seam relatively near the surface (usually less than 100 meters deep). Less capital and labor intensive than deep mining, this practice originated in England in the 1940s. As with deep mines, the number of these projects has been steadily declining since the 1960s. Nevertheless, over the past decade, the UK has continued to extract millions of tonnes of coal annually via public broadcasting.

However, it looks like opencast mining is in its prime. A plan for a new surface mine at Dewley Hill near the former mining town of Throckley was scrapped by Newcastle City Councilors in December. The mine would have extracted 800,000 tonnes of coal and 400,000 tonnes of refractory clay from a greenbelt site seven miles west of the city.

A unanimous decision by local authorities, which Banks called outrageous, put an end to corporate ambitions to revive coal in the region. This led to two other plan failures, one in Durham County’s existing plans for 2020 and one of the most important goals for businesses at Druidge Bay on the Northumberland coast.

The banks planned to appeal the decision. Its managing director Gavin Styles said the project will be a short-term site that will help Britain’s steel, industrial, brick-making and heritage sectors replace greenhouse-gas-emitting imports. [sic] Low-carbon technology has advanced. However, the company has since decided not to appeal.

Styles said: For all of our operations, whether mineral extraction or renewable energy generation, we agree to high environmental operating standards through thoughtful consultations with communities, planning authorities and regulators. Landscaping and restoration work provides a long-term legacy of improved habitat and increased biodiversity.

It seems that the tide towards this style of mining has changed. Anne Harris of the campaign group Coal Action Network, says applications for open pit mines from Staffordshire to Northumberland have been rejected after decades of strong campaigns from local residents.

Since 2008, her organization has partnered with communities in the UK to oppose the use of 33 open-pit munitions, 23 of which have been banned.

For many residents who have become activists, these campaigns have been harsh. Jos Forester-Melville, who led local opposition to the plan at Dewley Hill, said to many of us who would not have previously been identified as campaign activists, this is a full-fledged job.

Living within 300 meters of the Ffos-y-Fran open pit mine in southern Wales, Chris and Alyson Austin have supported residents in the fight against coal use in the Northeast and have spoken in a public investigation into the Druridge Bay conflict.

The couple said the people-led campaign changed the government’s stance on new coal mining. However, over the past 15 years since the Ffos-y-Fran project was launched, a shadow has been cast over the former coalfield area.

The community is suffering dramatically in the aftermath, Chris said. Dust, noise, how long they hold, and transport problems with coal. Living next to this stuff was terrible.

Alyson added: We’ll celebrate hard when other communities know they don’t have to suffer the way we did.

Coal also left a fortified political legacy as the Northern Red Wall has become an increasingly important electoral battleground in recent years.

The newly elected Conservative Party in the region tried to defend coal, with Northwest Durham MP Richard Holden leading the call for new British mines in Parliament and supporting the Banks open proposal with Blyth Valley constituency Ian Levy. This led neighbors like Anne-Marie Trevelyan to oppose open air broadcasting in their area but supported the controversial plan for a new deep mine in West Cumbria.

Ian Lavery, a Northumberland-based Congressman from Wansbeck and former Labor Party chairman, said that members of the party that destroyed the mining community are now calling for no more coal. I was a miner and I have witnessed firsthand the enormous price that people in this area pay for the path the Conservative government has taken towards its net zero goal in the UK.

Coal created jobs, sparked the industrial revolution and improved many lives in many communities across the country. Climate change must be taken very seriously and ultimately replaced with a real one that has yet to deliver why domestic coal production is coming to an end.




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