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Scottish coal mines to reopen

World Coal,

Five Scottish coal mines will restart production, having been acquired by Hargreaves Services in a deal worth £8.4 million. The plans to restart production come two months after Hargreaves completed another deal in Scotland, this time buying sites from KPMG, as liquidator of Aardvark (TMC) Ltd., in May.

Hargreaves Services said coal production has already restarted at the sites acquired from KPMG and that the business was performing in line with expectations. The Durham based company, which has significant operations in South Yorkshire, said it was focused on integrating the newly acquired surface mining assets into the group. 

Hargreaves said it plans to create 300 jobs over three months, rising to 500 within a year.

The company will not take full ownership of the mines, due to the cost linked with restoration once work has ceased at the mines. Instead, Hargreaves will operate the mines for coal extractions and restoration work, hoping to market an estimated 1 million tpa of coal.

Hargreaves Services group finance director, Iain Cockburn, said the restart of production at the coal mines “provides wider development and regeneration opportunities to help address the legacy of unfulfilled restoration obligations.”

"We will work collaboratively with our local communities, key stakeholders and regulators.”

He added: "We are committed to supporting the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust and we will encourage other industry participants to do likewise."

Hargreaves Services released a statement in which they acknowledged risked and pressures remain in the coal and coke markets, but that the group was “confident” it is well placed to overcome these.

Edited from various sources by Samuel Dodson

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