Banks Mining

Banks Mining


Banks Mining (H J Banks Mining) is a UK company that operates the Shotton and Brenkley coal mines in Northumberland. The company claims to mine around one million tonnes of coal each year.

The Shotton coal mine is situated on the Blagdon Estate, owned by hereditary peer Matt Ridley. Ridley is an advisor to climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The Banks Group, which owns Banks Mining (along with a renewables company and other organisations involved with the operations, such as transport and property), made £10.9 million in operating profit in 2016, down from £17.9 million in 2015. The group’s main director, Harry Banks, took home £2.13 million in dividend payments in 2016, according to documents filed with companies house.

The group maintains hope that it will be allowed to build another opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumbria. The application is currently undergoing review by the planning inspector, with the Communities Secretary due to make a final decision in early 2018.

Stance on Climate Change

Banks Group’s environmental policy makes no mention of climate change, but it does acknowledge that:

We recognise that our activities may have the potential to make a significant change to both the environment and local communities, and that it is our responsibility to maximise environmental benefits and minimise any adverse impacts arising from these activities.”

Key Deeds

December 21, 2020

Newcastle City Council rejected Banks Mining’s application to build an opencast coal mine at Dewley Hill, outside Newcastle, Business Green reported. This was the third rejection of Banks Mining’s planning applications in the last six months.

October 28, 2020

Banks Mining confirmed that they would not seek to challenge the government’s rejection of their Highthorn surface mine planning application, but remained committed to building a surface mine at Dewley Hill, near Throckley, AggNews reported. Gavin Styles, executive director at Banks Mining, stated, “in order to build back better, we need something to build with! We remain firm in our conviction that, while British industry still needs essential minerals like coal, fireclay and brickshale, they should be mined in the UK in the most environmentally responsible way possible.” Styles continued: “however, having carefully considered the Secretary of State’s purely political and deeply disappointing decision to reject our Highthorn planning application, we have concluded that issuing a challenge to it would not be the right course of action”. 

September 2016

Banks Group’s application for a new opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumbria was called in by the Communities Secretary.

In a letter sent on behalf of Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to Northumberland Council, the Department requested information on the “extent to which the proposed development is consistent with government policies for meeting the challenge of climate change”.

The planning inspector is due to deliver their report by December 4th 2017, with the government having up to three months to make a final decision after it receives the report.

November 2015

Banks Group sponsored the Green Business of the Year award at the Newcastle Business Awards. The award was for companies who “have either applied environmental policies into the workplace resulting in reducing their carbon footprint or that supply a product that makes a positive contribution to the environment”.

October 2015

Banks Mining’s Shotton coal mine was forced to close for a day after protesters entered the mine and locked themselves to an excavator.

The protesters were later ordered to pay £883.76 each in costs to Banks Mining to cover salary and replacement staff costs.

Photo: DeSmog UK

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