Delhi Surface Mine
Blagdon Estate, Northumberland
Site Status: Coaling operations on-going
Local Authority: Northumberland County Council
Coaling operations on the current Delhi site, which has been in operation since 2002, are now due to finish in March 2009. A planning application to extend the Delhi site and recover the remaining viable coal reserves adjacent to the existing site was approved by Northumberland County Council in May 2007.
Under the extension proposals, a further 350,000 tonnes of coal will be removed to add to the 1.4 million tonnes which are due to be recovered from the existing site. An additional 20,000 tonnes of fireclay will also be recovered.
The coal will predominantly be used to maintain local supplies of high-quality, low sulphur coal to Alcan’s plant at Lynemouth, which currently uses the vast majority (circa 90%) of the coal produced at Delhi.
The coal in this area will extend the coaling period at Delhi to March 2009 with the whole of the Delhi site being restored by summer 2010.
The existing site covers some 102 hectares and the extension will take an additional 6.1 hectares of surface working along with 3.7 hectares of proposed auger mining outside of surface operations.
The site is also notable for the modern plant fleet which is employed in order to excavate and transport overburden and minerals. The excavators and dump trucks have all been fitted with noise suppression equipment in order to minimise the impact on the local environment.
Historic photographs and plans have been used to develop the restoration concept which has been developed in conjunction with local residents, Northumberland County Council, Castle Morpeth Borough Council, English Heritage and Blagdon Estate. This restoration strategy will be extended to include the extension area.