Plans to work on the first of two new areas on the site of a south east Northumberland surface mine have been approved.
Banks Mining has been looking to extend its existing operations at the Shotton site, which has been operating since 2008.
In September last year, the company submitted a planning application for the first of the two additional areas at Shotton, which is located at the south west corner of the existing site and known as Shotton South West.
Having received Northumberland County Council’s approval for work in this area, Banks will now extract up to 250,000 tonnes of coal from it, which will be transported by road to the Port of Blyth.
The company said the additional mining will provide a further year’s work for the 150 employees at the Shotton site, with coaling set to be completed by October 2017 and full restoration carried out by October 2019.
A county council decision on the second new area at Shotton, which is known as Shotton Triangle and which sits on the site’s western side, is expected to follow soon.
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, said: “The discussions we had with local people and community representatives about this additional work were very positive, and we’re very pleased to be given permission by the county council to begin operations at Shotton South West.
“We aim to work our Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and our continued presence in the local area has enabled us to build strong relationships and deliver tangible benefits to the surrounding communities.”
The two schemes have also enabled Banks to provide support for local facilities through its Banks Community Fund, with more than £785,000 given to groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last decade.
Mark Dowdall added: “The Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines enable us to make significant, long-term contributions to both the local supply chain and regional economy, contributions which we will be developing even further in the future.”
Anyone wanting more information on the Shotton South West and Shotton Triangle proposals should contact the Banks Mining development relations team on (0191) 378 6100, or via firstname.lastname@example.org