LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Banks Mining said it expects an end this month to its near four-year wait to see whether it can develop a coal mine in northeastern England, after it received a letter from the government department responsible outlining its time frame.
Northumberland County Council agreed in 2016 that the developer, a division of The Banks Group, could extract 3 million tonnes of coal by cutting an open cast, or surface, mine near Druridge Bay, Highthorn.
But the local government minister at the time, Sajid Javid, rejected the application following a public inquiry, saying the proposal could hamper the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change.
Banks Mining won a legal challenge against the decision which meant it was send back to the government for further consideration.
“A letter sent to Banks Mining on behalf of Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, secretary of state for Housing, Communities & Local Government, has stated that the government hopes to announce its decision no later than April 7,” Banks Mining said in a statement on Wednesday.