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Mine keeps producing despite rejected coal expansion

Ffos-y-Fran coal mine
Ffos-y-Fran coal mine (CloudSurferUK via CC BY-SA 4.0)

A major fossil fuel operation refused to stop work even after running out of time.

Merthyr South Wales recently resisted demands for it to stop production at its Ffos-y-Fran coal mine, 42km north of Cardiff.

The proponent’s extraction licence expired back in September 2022, and authorities rejected its application for a 2024 extension. However, the mine continued producing over 300,000 tonnes of product resulting in a contravention notice under the Coal Industry Act.

“You are required to cease all extraction of coal outside of the licence area with immediate effect and inform the authority that this has taken place,” the notice said according to Verdict Media.

Merthyr defended its actions, explaining there is still high demand and prematurely shutting down operations would devastate the local community.

“[We are still] dealing with the human fall-out from this sad announcement,” a spokesperson said according to ITVX.

“The company is currently undertaking a statutory consultation process with all [of] its employees through … the union.”

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council chose not to extend the extraction licence due to climate change, an environmental theory that burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide emissions that can influence long-term weather patterns.

The local government earlier demanded that coal production stops on 31 July 2023. The operation has extracted the commodity since 2007.

The mine eventually agreed to stop production on November 30. About 200 employees will be affected.

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