Banks Mining secures former surface mine maintenance contract

County Durham firm Banks Mining are aiding a programme to restore a former surface mine in South Lanarkshire

Left to right, Paul Dunne the site manager and Ben Anstee, environment manager, at the Mainshill site
Left to right, Paul Dunne the site manager and Ben Anstee, environment manager, at the Mainshill site

North East firm Banks Mining has secured a contract to carry out maintenance work at a former surface coal mine.

The Mainshill site in South Lanarkshire has not been mined since former operators Scottish Coal went into administration last year.

Now family firm Banks has been appointed by Mines Restoration Limited (MRL) to carry out work for an undisclosed sum at the site, putting in place a seven-strong team to carry out an eight-week programme of maintenance tasks.

Founded in County Durham in 1976, Banks Mining has operated and restored more than 100 surface mines across Scotland and the north of England over the last 35 years.

Banks currently operates the Rusha surface mine in West Lothian, and was also responsible for the development of the world-renowned Northumberlandia landform, which was fashioned using 1.5m tonnes of carefully selected stone, clay and soil extracted from its adjacent Shotton surface mine in South East Northumberland as part of its ‘restoration first’ approach to working the still-operational site.

MRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, an independent and charitable body established to facilitate the process of communities and other stakeholders in restoring open cast sites across Scotland.

MRL acquired the remaining seven Scottish Coal sites in July, following the transfer of environmental licences by SEPA.

The firm is now engaging with local authorities, landowners and community groups to discuss and develop restoration plans for each of the sites.

Jim Donnelly, divisional director at Banks Mining, said: “Issues surrounding the maintenance of former surface mine sites across Scotland have come to real prominence in recent months, and the work we’re undertaking at Mainshill will ensure the integrity of the site is maintained.

“Our team is highly experienced in carrying out this type of work, and being chosen by Mines Restoration Limited to carry it out is pleasing recognition of the expertise that we have to offer in this field.”

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