Corus has revealed it wants to open a new deep mine in Port Talbot to harvest the rich coal seam beneath its steelworks.The steel giant has been given an exploratory licence to see if a deep mine is feasible - making the works less reliant on coal brought in by sea.
Thanks to parent company Tata's extensive mining experience in India, it now has the in-house expertise it needs.
Corus spokesman Robert Dangerfield said: "The Margam seam runs under the Port Talbot steelworks and there is still a lot of coal there.
"What we are looking for is high-quality coking coal, which is what the Margam seam is.
"We use it in enormous quantities. Most of it is brought in by ship, although we have been testing and using small quantities of Welsh coal from Merthyr."
Corus intends developing a traditional deep mine - which would make it the only one of its kind in Wales, following the closure of Tower Colliery, in Hirwaun, earlier this year.
The Margam mine could also potentially create new jobs for Welsh miners, keeping their traditional skills alive.
Anyone who has followed my blog over the last few years, will know how I feel about the UK's abandonment of deep coal mining. We have closed so many deep mines, not because there was no coal, but because it was cheaper to import it. I stand by my previous view that this was a "short term" decision that was strategically wrong. It's a shame that many communities were destroyed and skills lost, that could now make a great contribution to the UK economy and free us from the dependency on overseas producers.
Full story at ThisisSouthWales