Government approves first new coal mine in over 30 years
The Government has granted permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria, the first deep domestic mine to be built in over 30 years.
Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove greenlit the Whitehaven mine, in line with approval from the independent planning inspectorate earlier this year.
West Cumbria Mining will operate the mine at Whitehaven at the former Marchon chemical works site.
The company will remove coking coal from beneath the Irish Sea for steel production, and will not be used as an energy source.
A department spokesperson said: “This coal will be used for the production of steel and would otherwise need to be imported. It will not be used for power generation. The mine seeks to be net zero in its operations and is expected to contribute to local employment and the wider economy.”
The approval follows the decision being delayed three times amid Westminister turmoil this year.
The fate of the project had been hanging in the balance for over two years after the local county council initially approved the mine in 2020.
The Government has also confirmed its commitment to phase out coal power by 2024 remains in place.