THE mining firm running the Shotton opencast site, near Cramlington, has been named by its peers as the best in the business.
Banks Mining was named surface miner of the year at the annual IHS McCloskey Coal UK Conference in London, an accolade voted for by opencast mining firms across the UK.
Besides the Shotton site, the County Durham-based firm runs another opencast site at Brenkley, near Seaton Burn, and is drawing up plans for another at Ferneybeds, near Widdrington Station.
It is also responsible for the creation of Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human land-form sculpture, on the Blagdon Estate, using spoil from the nearby Shotton mine.
Gavin Styles, the company’s executive director, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one that reflects the commitment and dedication of every member of the team.
“The recognition given to the community aspects of our operations is especially gratifying.
“We’ve long recognised that involving all relevant parties in the development and operation of surface mine sites is the best way to ensure they run as smoothly as possible.”