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Earthmoving contractor Webfell has been awarded a £7. 8M contract as part of major restoration of the former Shirebrook Colliery in Derbyshire.

Work is being carried out by the East Midlands Development Agency as part of the National Coalfields programme.

The 120ha colliery spoil tip, which is 30m high in places and contains enough spoil to fill more than a quarter of a million concrete mixers, is still heating internally.

Phase one of Webfell's three-year contract will involve carrying out reclamation of a 63ha area. Earthworks have been designed and planned to allow for maximum use of materials - with some such as red shale and coal bearing material sold on.

Combustible material from the colliery spoil tip will be excavated and placed in layers in cooling bay areas built to receive and treat the material.

2Mm 3of spoil will be landscaped on the site and minerals from the spoil will be recycled.

Before excavation began, a complex monitoring system was installed to measure spoil temperature, which ranged from 30ºC to 150ºC. Instruments to detect the presence of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide were also installed.

The entire project is expected to take seven years to complete, at a cost of up to £24M.

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