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Key facts: Whitehaven coal mine

West Cumbria Mining Ltd want to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal annually, right up to 2049.

Cumbria County Council approved the application; but campaigning, including a 114,000+ signature Coal Action Network petition, led government to make the decision itself and call a public inquiry. Subsequently the government approved the mine in December 2022, but the decision is subject to legal challenges. Work has not started and financing is not in place.

Key facts & figures

Coal & refuse to be excavated: 67 million tonnes in total - almost 3 million tonnes per annum (at full production) - WCM Planning Statement, Sep 2021

Coal to be sold: 64 million tonnes of coal in total - 2.78 million tonnes of coal per annum (at full production) - WCM Planning Statement, Sep 2021

CO2: Approximately 200 million tonnes of CO2 in total - 8.8 million tonnes of CO2 per annum at full production (2022 BEIS Conversion Factors)

Methane: 340,000 tonnes of methane which is 34 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (not included in the figures above) - 15,000 tonnes of methane per annum at full production (mid-range estimate, measured over 20 years, Global Energy Monitor's Global Coal Mine Tracker)

Coal operator: West Cumbria Mining (Holdings) Limited, which is 82% owned by EMR Capital Investment Limited (No. 3B PTE Ltd) registered in Singapore.

Type: Coking (metallurgical) coal

Claimed destination: primarily burned in steelworks in the UK and Europe

Local Planning Authority: Cumbria County Council

Address: from the former Marchon site, Pow Beck Valley, to St. Bees Coast, Whitehaven, West Cumbria

Physical size: principal seams to be worked would be the Bannock Band and Main Band, which are at a depth of approximately 350 metres over 23ha

Time: applying for planning permission from 2022-2049

Published: 03/08/2022

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[…] So in Whitehaven, the company behind the coal mine is called West Cumbria Mining Limited, they are majority owned by a Singaporean investment company serving people in […]

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