Britain’s first new coal mine in decades set to be approved Business

Michael Gove is set to approve Britain’s first coal mine in decades as the Cabinet rallies around a proposal to wean the country off Russian imports.

The Housing Secretary is said to be in favor of plans to open a mine in Cumbria which will provide vital supplies to steelworks, according to Conservative Party sources. Mr Gove’s decision will now depend on the recommendations given to him by the Planning Inspectorate.

A source said: “I don’t know for sure, but I feel like he [Mr Gove] will approve it.

Woodhouse Colliery, the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years, was given the green light by local councilors in October 2020 but ministers launched an inquiry six months later after campaigners opposed ahead of the Cop26 conference on climate change.

Boris Johnson said in November at the Glasgow summit that he was “not in favor of more coal”, but stopped short of outright opposition. Downing Street sources insist the decision rests solely with planning ministers.

Nonetheless, sources in Whitehall said the Russian invasion of Ukraine united the Cabinet in favor of the plans.

The mine will produce coking coal, an essential ingredient for making steel that will not be burned in power plants. Britain imported 40% of its coking coal from Russia before the invasion of Ukraine.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-23 13:00:00

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