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Wales finalizing policy to halt new coal mining applications


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Wales finalizing policy to halt new coal mining applications

The government of Wales is finalizing a policy that would approve coal mining applications only under "wholly exceptional circumstances," BBC News reported Oct. 17.

There are two major open cast operations currently in production in Wales — Celtic Energy's East Pit and Ffos y Fran.

The government is analyzing consultation responses for the proposed rules that are set to be completed by the end of the year.

"Should, in wholly exceptional circumstances, proposals be put forward they would clearly need to demonstrate why they are needed in the context of climate change emissions reductions targets and for reasons of national energy security," according to the draft policy, adding that "proposals for opencast, deep-mine development or colliery spoil disposal should not be permitted."

Existing licenses would be allowed to run their course.

Celtic Energy CEO Will Watson said the East Pit site was due to be completed by 2019, and there were plans to reopen another site known as Nant Helen in south Powys next year, until 2022.

"Whilst we have argued unsuccessfully in the past that the reduction in energy generation from coal is being pursued too quickly, we are now moving our focus away from coal extraction to area regeneration projects post coaling," Watson said.