By DARA BUTTERFIELD
David Mundell MP in Dumfriesshire has highlighted a need for detailed information on the Lochinvar coal mine proposal. This comes after Australian-based New Age Exploration, headed by former BHP Billiton executive Gary Fietz, has announced that it has found supplies which could last 26 years at a Lochinvar site near Canonbie.
The coal mine could potentially support up to 270 jobs with many of those filled from the local population.
“I welcome the update from New Age, who have consistently kept local people advised of their plans.
“However, until there are definitive proposals in the planning system and we know what the planning approach will be, it is difficult to comment further on these or the other separate proposals for opencast and methane extraction in the area.
“Whatever these are, the opinions of local people have to take precedence as to whether this type of industrial development is appropriate for the locality.
“That’s why we continue to need detailed information about all of the proposals and importantly how they interact with each other which, like most local people, I don’t yet understand.”
However for the current scheme to be economical it would require coal prices to be between 30-40% higher than they are today.
“If we were in production now we’d be fine because we have a good operating margin. But if you’ve got to justify $284 million of capital to build the project then you need a better price.”
Pictured is David Mundell MP for Dumfriesshire