Mine plans are on track at Cauldhall

Hargreaves Services plc, operator of seven opencast mines in Scotland, says it is “business as usual” at the Cauldhall site of its proposed open cast mine in Midlothian, despite announcing on Monday that it is to half production at its other sites.

The company says its fixed or hedged-price contracts with power stations come to an end at the end of April.

Some power stations, they predict, may buy no coal at all in 2015, preferring instead to run down stocks.

Because of the decline in demand, Hargreaves says it will target the reduced coal production at Scottish sites on “sites with the lowest costs and highest yield of speciality coals”. This means focusing on selling to cement works and other industrial facilities, rather than power stations.

The company’s Interim Results for the six months to 30 November 2014 state: “We remain of the view that coal will continue to have a significant role to play for many years to come.”

A Hargreaves spokesman said: “It remains business as usual for our Cauldhall project and we are continuing to work with the local authority to progress.”