Cumbria County Council has granted planning approval to West Cumbria Mining (WCM) to develop a new underground coal mine, located on a brownfield site, to the south west of Whitehaven in West Cumbria.
The site will be known as Woodhouse Colliery.
The decision prompted protests. However, the site produces so-called ‘metallurgical coal’ which is converted to coke and used as a fuel and reactant in steelmaking. The coal produced will be delivered by rail to Redcar Bulk Terminal, located in North Yorkshire, on the east coast of England, which forms part of the steelworks in Teesside.
The company says site work will start before the end of 2019, with coal production commencing around 24 months from the start of construction.
Speaking to the Independent newspaper, Friends of the Earth clean energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said, “If we want to avoid dangerous climate change, giving the go-ahead to a new coal mine takes us in completely the wrong direction. Coal for power generation is currently being phased-out. Industries like steel and cement must make the shift to cleaner energy a top priority.”