New Wakefield colliery to create 50 jobs and extract five million tons of coal by 2035

The £11.5m project will use 'state of the art' mining techniques

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The Independent Online

The first new coal mine in Yorkshire in 20 years is set to open in September when the New Crofton Co-Op Colliery near Wakefield begins drilling in two tunnels.

The mine is the centrepiece of an £11.5m project that will plough the profits from coal into social enterprises, such as a firm to build its steel supports, renewable energy and sustainable housing.

Finance director Jonathan Clarke said the mine would create 50 new jobs. Last week the project sought additional funding via the Coalfield Community Investment Society, giving local residents the chance to invest. It already has £9m pledged by private investors.

The drift mine will use “state of the art” techniques to extract 4.9m tons of coal over 20 years, from 150m down. The seam is estimated to be worth around £200m. 

Mr Clarke said he’d “struggled” with environmental issues, but said they went ahead in  the hope of supplying an EU-backed carbon-capture project at nearby Drax power station.“It sounds like an oxymoron, but we are going to [be] as carbon neutral as possible.”