Once operational, all coal movements from site will be via the railway – no road lorries will be used at all – and a conveyor buried below ground level will be used to transport all coal from the mine to the train loader to minimise impact.
All coal will be brought to the process plant via the drifts and then, once processed, transported to the railway loading facility (RLF) in the Pow Beck Valley, near Mirehouse, via an underground conveyor buried in a concrete box culvert which will mitigate any visual, noise or dust issues between the mine site and RLF, in recognition of the sensitivity of the area.
The design of the RLF has been extensively reviewed to take into consideration the impacts upon the landscape and views. With this in mind, it has been designed to resemble a timber clad farm building so that its character matches the surrounding area.
All coal will be delivered by rail to Redcar Bulk Terminal, located in North Yorkshire, on the east coast of England, which forms part of the steelworks in Teesside. Many questions have been asked of the railway line capacity and its fitness for purpose – we are working closely with Network Rail and local schemes to ensure the WCM train movements fit into the existing requirements of the line, and it is upgraded and maintained as needed.
WCM will ensure it uses the latest design diesel locos (not the old Class 37’s seen more recently on the Whitehaven line) which are significantly quieter and less intrusive. The mine requires materials such as rockbolts and mesh, which need to be supplied daily. Rather than have these individually delivered to the mine site by the suppliers throughout the day as and when, we intend to take delivery at an off-site storage facility and then create our own delivery system, to ensure four time-tabled deliveries a day on a designated route. This will not only improve efficiency, it will ensure that we are not contributing to an overload on the local roads.
The box culvert would look similar to the examples below. The land would be returned back to the condition it was in before installation of the tunnel sections.
The coal will be crushed and its hand-ability will be much like sand when transported from site in wagons (see example below).
Redcar is the deepest water (17m) berth on the east coast and can handle ships in excess of 180,000 tonnes. From here, WCM is looking to export its coal to the EU and beyond, typically in Panamax size (up to 80,000 tonnes) bulk ships (typically 300m long, 32m beam and 12m draft).