No market for proposed Cumbrian coalmine

Steel boss dismisses claim that sector needs new Cumbrian coalmine

As final decision looms on controversial pit, industry expert says there is no domestic market for its fuel

Claims that a new coalmine in Cumbria will help supply British-made steel and replace Russian imports do not “stack up”, a senior industry figure has warned, as the government prepares to make a final decision over the project.

Supporters of the proposed mine, which would be the UK’s first new coalmine in 30 years, have suggested that at least a share of the coal produced would be used in domestic steel production. They also say it could lower reliance on Russian coking coal in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

However, influential figures in the steel industry have become increasingly frustrated about the claims – with the two domestic steel producers understood to be unlikely to be significant customers for the mine’s coal. Chris McDonald, chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute, which serves as the UK’s national centre for steel research, said there was no demand from his industry for the West Cumbria mine.

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