§ Mr. Ron Lewis
asked the Minister of Power why he authorises opencast coal production in Cumberland when certain collieries are due for closure; and if he will stop such authorisations.
§ Dr. Bray
Each application for an authorisation to work opencast coal is considered in accordance with the provisions of the Opencast Coal Act, 1958, and other relevant factors. The opencast coal operations which have been approved in Cumberland are profitable while the pits to be closed are exhausted or have ceased to be economic. The Answer to the last part of the Question is "No."