FIRST new deep coal mine in the UK in decades has been shown the green light by the government.
The Woodhouse Colliery would process around 2.5 million tonnes of coking coal a year, expected to replace imports from the US, Canada, Colombia and Russia.
Coking coal is different to thermal coal, which is used to create steam for power turbines.
Climate change campaigners have long sought to reduce impacts from coal power generation by removing this as a source of power in the UK, something the Government intends to take effect by 2025.
The mine will be located on the former Marchon Industrial site near Whitehaven and offshore coal seams will be accessed via the existing Sandwith Anhydrite mine portals.
Once operational, all coal movements from site will be via the railway from and a conveyor buried below ground level will be used to transport all coal from the mine to the train loader.
The Woodhouse Colliery would extract the coking coal from seabed off St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.
All coal from the mine will be delivered by rail to Redcar Bulk Terminal, located in North Yorkshire.
The company said in a statement: “WCM can now start the process of delivering on its plan to build one of most modern mines in the world. It will supply the UK and international steel industry, deliver hundreds of local jobs and deliver a first-class supply chain across the country.”
Site works are anticipated to commence in Spring 2020, with coal production beginning around 24 months from the start of construction.