The mining industry is one that has been missing from the Cumbrian coast in recent times, but that could all be about to change if one Australian company has its way and is allowed to start work on a particular site. Riverside Energy, which is based in Melbourne, wants to raise enough cash to begin exploring under the sea just west of Whitehaven, reports the News & Star. It needs £13 million to make the project become a reality and it has enlisted the help of stockbroking firm RFC Ambrian to help it raise the required capital. Should it be successful in raising the £13 million in question, the company would then draw up a plan to extract the coking coal it believes is under the sea at the location. Coking coal is extremely useful as it can be used to make steel, although it is not the same as thermal coal, which is used for heating and power generation. John Bishop, chairman of Riverside Energy, has suggested there may be as much as a billion tonnes of coal under the sea off Cumbria that is waiting to be extracted. If the firm is able to do so, it could create plenty of mining jobs in the area as a result. Graham Melville, who represents Mirehouse on Cumbria County Council, said: "My father used to work the mines. There are a lot of people who would probably welcome the return of this type of industry." Another councillor, Wendy Skillicorn who represents Kells and Sandwith, added: "I would absolutely love to see something come from it and will be watching with interest." British Coal carried out a study of the area in the 1980s and 1990s, although it was forced to abandon its plans to mine in the region due to cost. But Dr Bishop is more positive that something can be done this time around, as he said Cumbria's "excellent infrastructure" makes it a good place to conduct mining activities in the modern day.
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