Kent Brooks in his defence of deep mining for metallurgical coal in west Cumbria (Letters, February 14, 'Mine won't cause quakes') indicates that this will be the creator and deliverer of economic prosperity for the county.

I urge caution here. UK demand for metallurgical coal has been running at 3.2 million tonnes per annum but the recent closure of a major blast furnace in the North East will surely impact that demand.

The expectation is that exports will bridge that gap. The European market is provided for by major mining companies from major coal exporting countries, for example Australia, USA, Canada and Russia.

However, the real competition looks like it will come from the developing Jan Karski mine, Lublin in Poland.

Here Prairie Coal aims to be the lowest cost provider of metallurgical coal in Europe. They have a comparatively easy coal seam( level and deep), excellent infrastructure and huge trains carrying huge loads can get directly to the main steel making markets and to ports.

Contrast that with UK coal travelling by rail from West Cumbria to Redcar or similar, loaded on to coal ships, across to a European port, back on to rail freight waggons to the end user.

Understanding that the new Polish mine is determined to be the cheapest provider in Europe what outcome might we expect?

The UK mining company's aspiration is that scarce investment funding will come from Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership. I will be very interested to understand the business justification for any such investment.

Graham Vincent

Portfolio Holder – Economy

South Lakeland District Council