Comment // Economy

Mining Problems Again In South Wales

What is happening beneath the surface of March Hywel Mountain in south Wales?

This was the location less than two weeks ago of the mining disaster at Gleision Colliery, where four miners lost their lives due to an inrush of water at high pressure.

Over the weekend local residents heard a loud rumbling noise at the other side of the mountain, swiftly followed by a torrent of highly polluted water which gushed out of the side of the mountain.

The bright orange water which came from disused mine workings derives its colour from the presence of iron oxide. The resultant pollution affected a six mile stretch of the River Neath, killing the fish in the river.

Given that a high pressure liquid natural gas pipeline travels across the top of March Hywel mountain and a Pressure Reduction Station is also situated there, one wonders whether Neath Port Talbot planning authority gave due consideration to the hydrology of the area and to the presence of old mine workings, before they granted permission.

Peter Hain likewise may now be having second thoughts about the wisdom of supporting the construction of the pipeline, especially as his home is in the vicinity of March Hywel mountain.