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Developers defend opencast mine plans

People living in the upper Rhymney Valley are staging a protest opposing plans for an opencast mine at Nant Llesg.

The plans for the mine have been put forward by developer, Miller Argent, which also operates the Ffos-y-Fran open cast mine in Merthyr.

Developers say the proposed scheme will bring 'huge benefits', including hundreds of new jobs. a multi-million pound community benefit fund, and much needed investment.

Similar concerns were raised by protestors when we started work on our Ffos-y-fran site, which have proven to be groundless. Extensive local consultation on our Nant Llesg scheme has been carried out and we have made substantial changes to address points raised . The scheme will bring huge benefits to the area, including hundreds of new jobs, a multi-million pound community benefit fund and much needed investment into the local economy. We will continue to work closely with the local community.

As part of our planning application, we have undertaken in depth studies into potential environmental, health, economic and social impacts, and are confident our scheme meets the stringent standards required by government organisations - such as Natural Resources Wales and the local Council . Nant Llesg is designed to bring as much benefit as possible and minimise potential impacts to neighbouring businesses and residents.

– Neil Brown, Managing Director at Miller Argent

Residents due to protest against opencast mining proposals

Some residents are concerned about the potential environmental impact of the proposals Credit: ITV News

People living in the upper Rhymney Valley are due to stage a protest today opposing plans for an opencast mine at Nant Llesg.

The plans for the mine have been put forward by developer, Miller Argent, which also operates the Ffos-y-Fran open cast mine in Merthyr.

Despite the developer saying it would create hundreds of jobs, campaigners are concerned about the environmental impact the mine would have. A decision by Caerphilly County Borough Council on the plans is expected to be made soon.

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Report: Metal theft worth £14,000

British Transport Police are appealing for help to catch thieves who stole fourteen thousand pounds worth of cabling from tracks in the Rhymney Valley.

They say recent legislation, which makes it illegal for scrap metal dealers to give cash, is going some way to reducing the problem. But as Hannah Thomas reports, they've still got a big fight on the hands to stop it altogether.

£14,000 railway metal theft in Rhymney Valley

£14,000 worth of metal has been stolen from the railway in the New Tredegar area .

The British Transport Police is asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious between the 2nd and 8th of January, when the thefts occurred, to contact them on 0800 405040.

Officers are investigating four separate incidents in and around the Brithdir area.

We will be carrying out directed patrols along the Rhymney Valley line, including officers patrolling on foot, in vehicles and with police dogs, to catch and deter criminals, and will link with Gwent Police to gather intelligence on suspects in the area.

The irony is that the stolen items are of no real value to anyone outside the railway industry, yet the cost to replace them is extremely high. In fact, the thieves will struggle to get any money at all, as scrap metal dealers are highly unlikely to accept them.

– Sergeant Dave Morris, British Transport Police

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Mixed views on opencast mine

The company behind plans for an opencast mine in the upper Rhymney Valley says it would bring in almost 3 hundred jobs and lift the economy. Mining company Miller Argent say at a neighbouring mine, 26 million pounds has been spent in the last 3 years.

But a campaign's been launched by some businesses opposing the plan for Nant Llesg.