A NORTH East opencast company has been named the best in the business.
Banks Mining, which is part of the Banks Group, has won the Surface Miner Of The Year title at the annual IHS McCloskey Coal UK conference in London.
The award is voted for by fellow companies, customers and suppliers and recognises excellence in all aspects of operations, such as business achievements, efficiency, environmental performance and site management.
Banks, which operates the Shotton mine near Blagdon, was particularly praised for its positive work with communities around its sites and the benefits it provides.
Executive Director Gavin Styles said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one that reflects the commitment and dedication of every member of the team, from those that initially identify potential site locations and develop our planning applications through to those that shape, work and then restore the sites that we operate.”
The business is currently developing Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform sculpture, as the centrepiece of a public park near Blagdon, and it is expected to submit a planning application for an opencast mine at Widdrington Station later this year.
It currently employs more than 200 people and has operated more than 100 surface mining sites across the UK over the last 30 years.