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Call for more cash to clear up mines sites

CAMPAIGNERS have called on a coal-mining company operating in Scotland to spend more money clearing up its sites after it reported multi-million profits.

Hargreaves Services, which stepped in to buy five sites in Ayrshire, Fife and Dumfries and Galloway after the collapse of ATH Resources in 2012, revealed it had sold 400,000 tonnes of coal from its Scottish mines in the six months to November 30, which earned it profits of £8.2 million.

The Durham-based mining-to-logistics group took over five of the working former Scottish Coal sites following an acquisition of assets from the liquidators for £8.4m in 2012.

Malcolm Spaven, chairman of the pressure group Scottish Opencast Communities Alliance, said: "Now it is making good money out of those sites, it should do the honourable thing and put that money back into the full restoration plans.

"Hargreaves' profit rate of 12.6% shows that there is money in this business. But this should not be at the expense of the environment and communities around opencast mines. We call on Hargreaves to abandon their efforts to scale back agreed restoration schemes now."

A Hargreaves Services spokesman said: "We are working with local authorities on agreed restoration projects at a number of sites to deliver the best possible solutions."

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