Does the scheme impact on the proposed Nine Lakes Project?
We have been in touch with the Nine Lakes Project and don’t foresee any negative impacts from the mine on the scheme. We propose to divert the existing permissive footpath which runs across the site to follow around the site’s border, upgrading the standard of it if appropriate.
Will the mine create any noise or dust?
As part of the planning application process we will undertake a full environmental impact assessment (EIA) which will consider how the mine might impact the local environmental. This will include looking at things such as ecological and hydrological impacts, noise, dust and visual impacts.
The mine will simply look like a number of low warehouse-type buildings, with maximum building heights of around 12m. It is screened from most directions by trees which are around 16-18m in height. All of the mining activity will take place below ground with minimal activities inside these buildings so any dust or noise will be contained.
We do not intend to stockpile significant amounts of coal on site as most of it will be mined and loaded aboard trains for transport almost immediately. The main storage of coal will be in bunkers below ground level. However, a small buffer stock of up to 20,000 tonnes may be required for blending purposes on the surface.
How much road traffic will the mine create?
During the initial development phase some heavy equipment will have to be brought onto the site along with building materials, but this phase is only envisaged to last a few months at most.
Once the mine has been sunk we expect that around 10% of the mine’s output (an average of four wagons a day) will be sent out via road, on a route or routes agreed with the local community and Mineral Planning Authority. The other 90% will be loaded directly on trains at the mine head and transported to various power stations in the surrounding area.
Will there be a risk of subsidence?
No. A design property of the room and pillar mining method that will be used is that it does not create subsidence.
When will the mine open?
This largely depends on the duration of the planning process but we are hoping to be in production by early 2014.
Is it viable to produce coal from an underground mine in the UK still?
This question is addressed on our coal economics page here.