18th August 2020 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

One of England’s last coal mines is set to close as an extension application was rejected by the local council.

The Bradley Mine in County Durham, one of England’s last commercial coal mines is set to extract coal for the final time.

Owned by Banks Mining, the Bradley surface mine was opened in 2018 to extract 500,000 tonnes of coal. The firm had applied for a small extension on land to the west of the Bradley site but this was rejected.

90,000 tonnes of coal would have been used to supply UK steel manufacture, while 20,000 tonnes of fireclay would have been used by brickmakers in the area.

The application was initially recommended for approval from Durham County Council’s planning officers but the final proposal was rejected by the majority of members on the Council’s planning committee.

Official figures suggest that around eight million tonnes of coal were used in the UK during 2019, with over 80% of it imported and less than 40% of it used for electricity generation.

Managing Director Gavin Styles said: “While British industry still needs coal, it is patently obvious that it is better for our climate and for our jobs to mine it here in the UK, rather than exporting our jobs and increasing global greenhouse gas emissions by relying even more on importing coal over thousands of miles from Russia, the USA and Colombia.”

Banks Mining has also been waiting for a government decision in regard to its proposed Highthorn surface mine in Northumberland which could bring £100m into the local economy.

In addition, the firm has also submitted a planning application for the Dewley Hill surface mine close to Newcastle which would extract 800,000 tonnes of coal, most being used for industrial purposes and 400,000 tonnes for fireclay.

The used of coal-fired electricity generation is scheduled to end completely in 2025, keep up to date with the latest developments in the coal industry by following Apollo Energy on Twitter.