Hargreaves cancels uneconomic Dumfries-shire open cast coal mining plan

A Hargreaves surface-mining coal worker
A Hargreaves surface-mining coal worker

Durham-based coal mining company Hargreaves has withdrawn its application for an open-cast coal mine near Kirkconnel in Dumfries-shire.

Following an internal review, the company has concluded that – with the closure of the Longannet coal-fired power station – there is no economic market open to it for the proposed mine near Rigg Farm.

Philip Rayson, Hargreaves’ Planning & Projects Manager, said:The coal industry has been going through a very tough time during the last few years with historically low selling prices, the current market conditions are not favourable with coal trading significantly below the cost of production due to low gas and oil markets.

“Current forecasts do not anticipate this price rising for the foreseeable future.

In addition the UK Government stated their intention to bring an end to large scale thermal generation using coal by 2025.

“Longannet Power station closed earlier this year and its removal from the grid means that the only realistic sales opportunities for steam coal are in the Aire and Trent Valleys and those stations are transitioning to biomass generation, using mostly imported material. Even if we could sell into those stations the additional transport costs only serves to make the mining scheme less economically viable.

“Despite this, we remain very committed to the region and we are actively seeking opportunities to further develop and restore the sites we have inherited. We also remain committed to the development of a portfolio of property and renewable energy projects.”

Meanwhile, the following Scottish coal mining applications by Hargreaves and other operators remain live in the planning system;

Cauldhall Moor Midlothian Hargreaves
Duncanziemere Extension East Ayrshire Hargreaves
Carsgailoch Hill East Ayrshire Kier Mining
Glentaggart East South Lanarkshire Hargreaves
Hardgatehead South Lanarkshire Hall Construction
Headlesscross East North Lanarkshire Hargreaves
Wellsgreen Fife Hall Construction
Wester Greenhill Falkirk Chartmount Minerals

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