Posts Tagged ‘Coal’

Activists temporarily halt work

11/07/2011 Leave a comment

On Tuesday 5th July activists from the Telford no new coal (aka Defend Huntington Lane) protest site halted early morning operations by storming the open cast mine. Two protesters dead locked on to heavy plant machinery, disrupting the destruction caused by them. Activists have been on the site for 15 months and are awaiting eviction papers. The camp is situated in what would be the road between the current mine site to another, and in an area of natural beauty


First Birthday & Gathering

08/02/2011 Leave a comment

The protest camp at Huntington Lane is now a year old and will be having a gathering from the 25-28 February. The camp was set up after it was discovered that UK Coal had started work by clearing part of the forest. In October the actual mining work began on the southern part of the site.

The weekend gathering will include skill-sharing, site skills, action and defense building, information sharing and networking with activists from other campaigns.

For more information go to the camps website

Huntington Lane Site A “Eviction”

13/10/2010 1 comment

At around 8:30am Wednesday 13th the National Eviction Team with police backup arrived on Site A to find the tree houses unoccupied. Site A is where work on the mine will start. The tree houses have now been removed and branches lopped off the trees so they can’t go back up.

The main Huntington Lane camp is located between Site A and Site B on what will become a link road between the two sites. Although there were tree houses on Site A it was never really seriously defended hence the Eviction team finding them empty. It has however proved to be an  effective early warning system as the main camp is now on full alert as it prepares for eviction. For anyone waiting for the eviction call out, this is it. As many people as possible are needed to help defend the site.

Protesters have been threatened with arrest should they trespass upon Site A.  An eviction notice is yet to be served but this chain of events would appear to suggest its imminent arrival. Heavy machinery is now on site and breaking ground. We would encourage any concerned individuals to pay a visit to camp whether it be to stay on, help out with defenses, leave a donation or lend their moral support.

Please call 07503 583419 for info or to get involved.

The best way to keep up to date with latest news is by checking the Huntington lane blog

UK Coal set to “dry mine” Huntington Lane

16/08/2010 3 comments

As part of the original agreement UK Coal were supposed to wash the coal to dampen it which prevents too much dust from being produced. Severn Trent the local water supplier are now saying that the local pipeline won’t provide enough pressure for UK Coal to use as well as local residents. They will therefore have to pay for a new pipeline, however as we reported earlier UK Coal are massively in debt and cannot afford extra expenses like this. They decided instead that they will “dry mine” Huntington Lane, going against the original terms of the agreement. Dry mining will cause a lot more dust to be created and could have a negative impact on the health of local residents. It also raises concerns over other promises UK Coal have made such as restoring the mine after they have finished.

What’s Wrong With Coal?

07/06/2010 2 comments

Climate Change

In 2008 85% of the UK’s Greenhouse gas emissions were Carbon dioxide. The main source of CO2 emissions was the energy supply sector which made up 39% of carbon dioxide emissions [1]. There was actually a small decrease in emissions which was the result of  using more natural gas at the expense of coal for electricity generation. The burning of coal for electricity generation is the most carbon intensive of all fossil fuels as it is made up of nearly all carbon. Globally CO2 emissions from Coal-fired power stations amounts to 11 billion tonnes [2]. That’s 41% of all global fossil fuel CO2 emissions [3].
NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen has said that the ‘single most important action’ needed to tackle the climate crisis is to reduce CO2 emissions from coal [4].

The entire life cycle of coal from mining through to waste disposal effects the environment, human health and local communities. It disrupts eco systems and contaminates water supplies. As well as CO2 other greenhouse gases released during the process include nitrogen oxide and methane [5] and toxic chemicals like mercury, aluminium, lead, copper and arsenic which has been know to leak into water supplies. A lot of coal contains sulphur which can lead to acid mine drainage if it’s exposed and forms sulphuric acid. This can then contaminate local water supplies.

Opencast Mining

Opencast mining is used if the coal seams are found near the surface of the earth, the surface is broken up by explosives to get to the coal seam which is then drilled so it breaks up and can be taken away. This form of mining causes deforestation, water shortages, the loss of fertile soil through erosion, subsidence, lowering of the water tables, coal fires, contamination of water supplies and destruction of agricultural land. As well as destroying eco-systems and landscapes. It Also causes health problems for local communities and workers due to the removal of overburden which creates dust or partial matter.[5] Air pollution associated with coal mines also comes from near by power stations and from diesel fumes from all the mining equipment. Added to air pollution and water pollution is noise pollution generated from the explosions and drilling.

Health of Local Communities

A lot of the negative health effects of open cast mines comes form inhaling dust particles from the mine, local water supplies can also become contaminated from the process of washing the coal. A study carried out to investigate the effects of open cast coal mines on the local community of Douglasdale found noticeable ill-health in the people who lived near the Douglas and Dalmellington open-cast coal mines, compared with aggregated UK health statistics and with a nearby Scottish town upwind from the mines [6]. The study found that there was a small but significant link with living near an open-cast coal mine and getting a respiratory disease. It also found “the high rate of death from cancer in the Douglasdale sub-region of Clydesdale is particularly troubling” [6]. The study also looked at 12 other peer review reports that have investigated the effects of opencast coal mines. Of these 10 found significant ill-health within the coal mining areas.  Other studies have also linked lung disease, kidney disease, cardiopulmonary disease, black lung disease, hypertension and cardiac diseases with open cast coal mines.
The risk of developing kidney disease increase by 70% if you live near a coal mine.
The risk of developing chronic lung diseases increases by 64% if you live near a coal mine and risk of high blood pressure is increased by 30% [7].


[2] International Energy Agency, 2008. CO2 emissions from fuel

[3] International Energy Agency, 2007. Key World Energy
Statistics. OECD/ IEA 2007.

[4] Hansen, J., 2007. Testimony before the Iowa Utilities Board,
Docket No. GCU-07-01. 05 November 2007.

[5] Greenpeace, Leave it in the ground.

[6] Douglasdale Community Coal Health Study


UK Coal announces losses of £129.1m

08/05/2010 2 comments

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.

Photos from the camp

20/04/2010 Leave a comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read more…