Woodhouse Colliery

Cumbria’s £165m coal mine avoids Government call-in

Work is set to begin on the Woodhouse Colliery near Whitehaven early next year after the Government decided not to step in on the £165m project.

The plans by West Cumbria Mining cover mineral extraction over 50 years over a 689-acre site running to and beyond the St Bees coast, along with the refurbishment of two existing drifts leading to two new underground drifts; coal storage and processing buildings; office and change building, an access road, ventilation, power and water infrastructure and landscaping.

There is also provision for a coal loading facility and railway sidings linked to the Cumbrian Coast railway line with adjoining office and welfare facilities, along with the extension of railway underpass and permanent access on land off Mirehouse Road, Pow Beck Valley.

The intention is for coal to be moved entirely by rail to UK steel making and port destinations. The project sits within the West Cumbrian coalfield and is next to the former Haig Colliery, which was a working mine between 1914 and 1986.

Cumbria County Council backed the plans in March this year, but the scheme had faced calls for the Government to intervene, with MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale arguing in favour of a call-in.

However, ministers have declined to step in, allowing the scheme to go ahead as planned with work set to get under way in the New Year. Site preparation will begin early next year, with coal production targeted to commence in 2021.

The project will process up to 3.1m tonnes per year of coal; feasibility studies were completed in both 2016 and June 2019. Hargreaves and Priority Drilling have already been engaged to build the project.

West Cumbria Mining has also received £14.7m in private equity financing from EMR Capital Resources Fund, an Australian private equity backer focussed on mining.

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The Tory approach to our planet’s impending destruction. Hurrah.

By Congrats

Mad. We need to reduce future CO2 emissions – not release more fossil CO2. What hight above sea level are the proposed mine workings incidentally? How soon will they flood/be isolated as the sea level rises?

By Hilary Gee

So much for global warm

By Willy marczinski

So much for global warming!! Where will the miners come from as Thatcher destroyed the family tradition of mining

By Willy marczinski

Basic chemistry lessons. You need coking coal to produce steel. We either import it from halfway across the planet or mine it locally. It’s not Rocket science.

By Peter Flitcroft

You need coking coal to make steel best of luck boys.plenty of ex miners will wish you all the best

By Pat purdy

How does this fit with plans for UK to be carbon neutral? So much for climate emergency!

By Annie

We still import lots of coal so maybe this will reduce the carbon footprint ??

By Richard D.

Jobs for local people, a boost for the economy and cuts out the need to import coal at a price when its under our feet, common sense at last, or would the climate change fanatics want to end steel production because of lack of raw materials.

By Len wilson