Dodgy Dealings of UK Coal
March 24, 2015

100_2025Should we trust a company which fights for planning application appeals after going into administration and when forced to sell it’s opencast mines, does so to a company which is essentially the same beast?

In November 2014 the four UK Coal Surface Mining Ltd (part of the UK Coal Production Ltd) opencast mines were sold to UKCSMR Ltd, a ‘new’ company. [1]

The sale of the surface mine aspect of UK Coal was a condition for the government loan for a phased closure of Kellingley and Thoresby deep mines, which will happen by the end of this year.

The new company, UKCSMR Ltd has two directors, David Bolton and Simon Taylor. Both of these men have been directors of other parts of the UK Coal Group. The ‘new’ company has the same trading address as the other parts of the UK Coal group. Bolton is a director of ‘UK Coal Surface Mines Ltd ‘ and Taylor was a director of Juniper (No. 3) Ltd [liquidated]. [2]

At the re—run of the Bradley inquiry, a note was given to the inquiry on 14/10/14 which states, ‘1.11 The right to pursue a planning appeal cannot be transferred to a third party as a consequence the Applicant [UK Coal Mining Ltd] has agreed to allow UKCSML to pursue the Appeal as its agent.’ [3] Juniper (No 3) and UK Coal were names used interchangeably by the appellant in this inquiry and were subsidiaries of the same group.

UK Coal is closing its last two remaining deep mines with the help of a 4 million pound loan from the government and then will dissolve. [4]

UKCSMR Ltd now owns four active mines, Minorca, Leicestershire; Butterwell and Potland Burn, Northumberland and Lodge House, Derbyshire.

Although none of the shuffling of mines between two companies, who appear to essentially be the same people, is illegal, nor is following up an application for planning permission by a company, of which parts keep going into administration, against the law. It isn’t exactly open, honest or trustworthy. These people cannot be trusted to restore sites, treat their workers well or try to reduce the impacts their invasive work has on local communities.

Thanks to Corporate Watch for advice about researching companies. The Coal Action Network highly recommends there book, Investigating Companies, a Do-It-Yourself Handbook, available online.

[1] Price Waterhouse Cooper (administrators) ‘Pre-pack deal saves nearly 300 jobs at UK Coal Surface Mines Limited,’ 20/11/14, pack-deal-saves-nearly-300-jobs-at-uk-coal-surface-mines-limited.html Viewed 5/3/15

[2] Information from

[3] Note to Inquiry – 14 October 2014, Inquiry Reference UKC 22. ‘Update on status of the Applicant.’

[4] UK Coal Production Limited, Directors Report and financial statements for the 18 month period ended 27th September 2014. Page 3

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  1. Opencast mining is dirty dirty business & we are faced with yet another opencast mine at Druridge by The Banks Group !