WCM secures planning approval for Woodhouse Colliery in UK

WCN Editorial Team 21 Mar 2019 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

West Cumbria Mining (WCM) has secured planning approval from Cumbria County Council (CCC) to develop its metallurgical coal project Woodhouse Colliery, a new underground mine near Whitehaven in West Cumbria.

The company has been working on the plans to develop a 21st century mine since 2014.

It has given due consideration to the design of the surface infrastructure to minimise any potential impact from noise, dust and light.

The company has completed several environmental and ecological surveys, in addition to onshore and offshore coal exploration, which has proven the existence of high-quality coal for use in the steel industry.

After the construction of the mine and Woodhouse Colliery becoming operational, the company intends to extract and process around 2.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year and supply it to steel-making coal plants in the UK and Europe.

Currently, these plants import around 45 million tonnes per annum from the US, Canada, Russia and Australia.

WCM will be required to meet extensive conditions set by CCC as part of the planning approval, to enable the company to move forward to the next phases of the project.

The company said that it will continue to work with CCC over the coming months to finalise and fulfil the conditions so that the project can be taken to the pre-construction and construction phases.

Work on the site is expected to commence before the end of 2019 and coal production around 24 months from the start of construction.

West Cumbria Mining CEO Mark Kirkbride said: “Today marks a very important milestone in our journey to develop a world class mine in Cumbria and is the culmination of five years of hard work and determination by the WCM team to realise our vision.

“Woodhouse Colliery will bring significant local benefits to Whitehaven, Copeland and Cumbria in terms of jobs and investment.

“We now look forward to moving towards the construction of Woodhouse Colliery and harnessing the extensive mining history and knowledge in West Cumbria to operate a state-of-the-art mine, including the highest levels of health and safety and technology to ultimately realise our vision of becoming a leading European producer of high-quality metallurgical coal for steel making.”

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Image: CGI of Woodhouse Colliery of West Cumbria Mining. Photo: Courtesy of West Cumbria Mining.

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