SECTION 1: THE REPORTS CONCLUSIONS
UK Coal plc’s coal production has fallen by 58% between 2000 and 2008.
It now only operating 4 deep mines, one of which will close this year.
Estimated losses on producing deep mined coal between 2000 and 2008 stand at nearly £167m. Estimated profits on its surface mined coal for the same period stand at £54.7m. The net loss on its coal operations over the last 8 years is estimated to be over £110m.
A new deep mine development is unlikely without a public subsidy. Estimated cost was put at between £300 -£350m in 2004.
All of UK Coal plc’s remaining deep mines, with the exception of Daw Mill could be closed by the end of this decade.
UK Coal plc it will only be able to maintain its role as the major supplier of coal if it greatly increases its number of successful opencast mine applications. Thus meeting the UK’s indigenous energy security needs become dependent on more and more opencast coal. This analysis is borne out by looking at UK Coal plc’s plans for new opencast mine applications.
It is probably the company’s re-invention of itself as a ‘Property Company’ which has kept the company viable.
UK Coal plc, in rebranding itself as a property company, is seeking to enhance the value of its shares as investment analysts reclassify the company as a property company rather than being a miner, energy company.
Applications for coal extraction are determined by different rules from other planning applications. This has been glossed over by UK Coal plc, when it presents itself as a property development company in the following ways:
if the unexploited land it owns overlies a shallow coalfield it will be prevented from developing the land until the coal has been extracted,
UK COAL plc: AN ALTERNATIVE REPORTPAGE 4