A coal mining firm is considering reopening a pit in Nottinghamshire which could be the deepest in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. According to the BBC, Doncaster-based UK Coal are looking at reopening the Harnworth pit which closed in 2006. The pit is likely to reopen later this year, and could, they claim, create 400 jobs, although production would not actually be restarted for a further three years. Studies are being carried out at the moment, but the company believes there could be as much as 40 million tons of coal available at the pit.
Related audio: Report from action at another proposed new coal mining site featured in #5 the June Show ~ Riseup! Radio
No To New Coal ! (Photo by Alan Lodge)
Jeff Wood, vice president of the Union for Democratic Mineworkers (UDM, most famous for scabbing during the Miners' Strike), welcomed the reopening of the pit, coming, as it does, when the Wellbeck colliery in Nottinghamshire is coming to the end of its workable life and facing closure by the end of the year: "The good news is... there's now an opportunity to transfer to Harworth, which could potentially mean another 20 to 25 years of work."
With coal power a central concern of various climate change action networks, the reopening of Harnworth may not pass entirely unopposed. All the coal produced by UK Coal goes to customers in this country. The biggest of these are Drax Power Station in Selby, North Yorkshire, which in 2006 was the target of the first Climate Camp, as well as power firms EDF and E.ON. The latter has already been visited by local climate campaigners on more than one occasion. Last year, activists came close to shutting down the the E.ON-run Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station and on April 1 this year, the company's offices on Mount Street, Nottingham were blockaded as part of Fossil Fools Day.