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Case update 23 November 2023

Illegal coal mining to stop – 450,000 tonnes too late

Coal Action Network

After a challenge from Good Law Project and Coal Action Network, illegal mining at Ffos-y-Fran is due to halt on 30 November.

The company which has been mining coal illegally at Ffos-y-Fran for more than a year, Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd, has announced a date when the mine will close: 30 November 2023.

With more than 1,000 tonnes of coal loaded on to lorries at the mine every day, Coal Action Network, supported by Good Law Project, launched a challenge in July to stop this illegal mining. We argued that Merthyr Tydfil council and the Welsh Government were far too slow to act after planning permission for the mine expired in September 2022.

Now that the company has announced a date for mining to stop, Coal Action Network has withdrawn this challenge. But we’re not taking Merthyr’s word for it. This company has already extracted more than 443,000 tonnes of illegal coal since planning permission came to an end. This isn’t over until the mine is actually shut.

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We will continue to keep a close watch on what is happening at Ffos-y-Fran and are ready to take further action if needed. At the heart of this action is a community whose health and wellbeing have been put at risk by dirt and disruption from this mine for more than 15 years.

The Welsh Government only granted planning permission for the mine on the understanding that the site would be restored after the facility was closed. Local people deserve an end to coal mining, and the redevelopment of the ravaged site into green hillside.