A proposed new mining deal in Dumfriesshire could bring a host of economic benefits to the area, including the creation of a number of new jobs. New Age Exploration, a mining company based in Melbourne, Australia, wants to drill boreholes in land that once belonged to a former school in the Scottish county. The Dumfries & Galloway Standard has told how the firm is hoping to lease the Glenzier Primary site, which is no longer used for educational purposes, and begin work as soon as possible. It would carry out an initial study in which it would explore the land for coal, and significant progress is possible if the valuable material is discovered under the ground of the ex-school. Should coal be uncovered in the region, it is said that approximately 300 mining jobs would be generated for local people in the Canonbie area. Lochinvar Coal, which is a subsidiary of the Australian firm, is aiming to strike a deal with the local council that will see it rent the plot for two years with an annual fee of £10,000. A maximum of three tests would be drilled into the playground of the school. Experts would analyse the findings and work out whether coal is present, how much there is, how high it is in quality and ultimately whether it is worth beginning a major mining project. Coking coal is particularly valuable in the UK, where it is widely used in the iron and steel-making industries. The plot of land the company has its eyes on covers both Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria, and it is believed that the creation of a full-time mine would generate about 500 construction jobs. Should coal be removed from this area, it would be done over a period of 15 years and create up to 300 jobs. The news source went on to note that a further 100 people in the area could secure employment as a consequence of the mining activities.
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