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Banks Group gets green light for UK surface coal mine in 2018

Britishdevelopment firm Banks Group has secured permission for its planned surfacecoal mine in Britain in 2018, which is expected to produce 3 million tonnes ofcoal in a maximum of seven years, Reuters reported July 8.

Thecoal mine will be installed at Highthorn in Northumberland, in northeastEngland, and will create roughly 50 jobs, said the report.

"Nowwe have secured planning permission (for Highthorn) we will move to the nextstage, towards making a final investment decision and expect to begin operationin 2018," Reuters quoted Barney Pilgrim, projects director at Banks, assaying.

Thecompany said it would invest around $156 million for the project.

Environmentalgroups, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, disapproved the project butPilgrim noted the site's restoration following its closure in 2025. He addedthat a new area of wetland and wildlife habitats would be created, Reuterswrote.

As of July 7, US$1 isequivalent to 0.77 British pounds.