Thursday, September 25, 2014

News: Maltby planning to take in tonnes of Hatfield material

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Underground workings may have ended at Rotherham's Maltby Colliery last year but the spoil heap may continue to be added to under plans to deposit 2.25 million tonnes of material from nearby Hatfield Colliery.

The 500 acre colliery at Maltby was mined for over 100 years until geological conditions could not be overcome and underground operations ceased in 2013. Owners, Hargreaves Services continued to provide management services and support from Maltby to Hatfield Colliery in Doncaster.

In December 2013, the business and assets of Hatfield Colliery Limited were acquired by a new employee's trust and Hargreaves' mine management contract was terminated. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) subsequently agreed to invest £4m in the Hatfield business by providing a commercial loan to extend the life of the mine, which is the last deep coal mine in the country not to have announced closure.

Now a planning application has been submitted to Rotherham Council by Maltby Colliery Ltd (Hargreaves) to allow for 450,000 tonnes of mine runoff fines, known as MRF, to be transported each year from Hatfield and deposited in the current lagoon at Maltby.

The temporary permission would be five years and MRF is already being brought to Maltby from Hatfield. The lagoon was due to be filled anyway as part of the colliery's restoration plan.

MRF is a fine slurry-like material which is formed during the washing and reclamation of coal fines (tiny coal particles). It made up much of the 1.4m tonne landslip at Hatfield in February 2013.

Nearby residents have already raised concerns over the height of the tip, the possibility of landslips and the impact on the highways of the estimated 60 HGV movements per day.

The mine shafts have been filled and capped and the immediate future of the site is as Maltby Energy Park, with operator Alkane Energy generating energy from the coal mine methane assets for an estimated period of up to 15 years.

Alkane has recently been awarded a demand side contract with the National Grid to supply 56Mw capacity to cover the winter peak period from 4pm to 8pm each weekday between November and February, with Alkane to receive a two hour warning if it will be needed.

Hargreaves Services website

Images: Hargreaves Services

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