Since 2014, West Cumbria Mining has been developing plans for the creation of a metallurgical coal mine, off the coast near Whitehaven in West Cumbria to supply the UK and European steel-making coal market, which currently imports around 45 million tonnes per annum.
Cumbria is an area rich in mining history and experience and as the plans for our project have developed, we have looked to harness this knowledge in a modern mine, which will have the benefits of first-class levels of health and safety as well as a cleaner and more pleasant environment than the previous mines of Cumbria’s history.
Throughout the development of our plans, we have undertaken an extensive programme of coal exploration, both onshore and offshore, and this proved the presence of high quality steel-making coal with very attractive properties including extremely low ash and phosphorus.
The results of this exploration work has allowed us to determine details such as the design of the mine, method of extraction and processing of the coal itself.
We submitted our planning application in May 2017, and on March 19th 2019, CCC formally granted planning approval to us to develop our project – to be known as Woodhouse Colliery.
As is normal with project of this nature, as part of the planning approval being granted, CCC has set-out extensive planning conditions which we need to meet to enable us to move forward to the next phases of the development of the project.
Over the coming months, we will continue to work with CCC to finalise and discharge those conditions, which will enable the project to progress to the pre-construction and construction phases.
We anticipate that site work will commence in early 2020, with coal production commencing around 24-months from the start of construction.