Yesterday Sunday 31st residents from the Defend Huntington Lane Camp took their message onto the river Severn and sailed it downstream. The six person raft complete with a big “No New Coal” banner and UK Coal digger figurehead sailed down the River Severn and past EON’s Buildwas B coal fired power station which is where the coal from Huntington Lane will eventually end up. It then sailed further downstream and under the famous Iron Bridge where it was meet with cheers from a crowd of locals and tourists who had gathered on the bridge.
UK Coal had been in merger talks with Hargreaves Services but has had to put these talks on hold after reporting a loss of £129.1m for 2009. They put this down to low coal prices and low coal production in its deep mines. The company also has debts of £236m which are greater than the actual value of the company at £177m. A report by Minorca Opencast Protest Group shows that this is just continuing the trend of the last 8 years where the company lost over £110m. With most of its deep mines set to close by the end of the decade it will have a bigger dependency on its open-cast mines. There are 3 open-cast mines set to open this year but it could be costly as opposition to them is proving fierce. UK Coals long-term plans are likely to be property development of their open-cast mines.