Coal Authority Takes Action Against Unlicensed Coal Mining at Ffos-y-Fran Opencast Mine

…By for TDPel Media. The Coal Authority recently conducted an inspection at the Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in Merthyr Tydfil and made a troubling discovery.

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The operator, Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd, was found to be extracting coal outside of their licensed area.

This violation prompted the Coal Authority to take immediate action to rectify the situation.

Enforcement Action Initiated

In response to the unauthorized coal mining, the Coal Authority has initiated enforcement action in accordance with its legislative powers.

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The operator has been instructed to cease all coal extraction activities beyond the licensed boundary.

Additionally, the company must provide written confirmation to the authority stating that all coal extraction outside the licensed area has come to a halt.

Seeking Relief from the Courts

The Coal Authority is determined to ensure compliance with its regulations and is prepared to seek necessary relief from the courts.

This may involve seeking an injunction to halt all coal-mining operations in the broader area until a plan and program are agreed upon to put an end to coal mining outside the licensed boundary.

Controversy Surrounding Mining at Ffos-y-Fran

The Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine faced controversy when its planning permission for mining expired in September of the previous year.

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Despite the expiration, there were claims from residents and environmental campaigners that mining activities continued.

An application to extend the mining permission was rejected by the council’s planning committee, and an enforcement notice was issued in June to cease coaling.

However, the alleged mining persisted, prompting calls for intervention from the Welsh Government.

Appeal Against Enforcement Notice

Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd has lodged an appeal against the enforcement notice issued by the council, contesting the order to stop mining activities at the site.

While the company is pursuing this appeal, the Coal Authority remains vigilant in its efforts to enforce mining regulations.

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Collaborative Efforts with Authorities

The Coal Authority emphasizes the role of local authorities in regulating surface mines through planning permissions and enforcement.

Surface mine operators, including Ffos-y-Fran, are required to obtain a coal mining license from the Coal Authority and other relevant approvals from bodies like Natural Resources Wales and the Health and Safety Executive.

The Coal Authority is committed to providing guidance and expertise to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, the Welsh Government, and other partners as needed.

Awaiting Further Decisions

Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd has appealed the enforcement notice, and as a result, Welsh Government refrains from commenting at this stage to preserve the integrity of any future decisions regarding the matter.

As the situation unfolds, the authorities will continue to monitor and address the concerns surrounding the Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine.

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