§ Mr. Macfarlane
I have been asked to reply.
The NCB's opencast coal operations are being brought into line with the procedures applying to licensed opencast coal operators and to other mineral operators. As part of this process, we need to consider the compulsory powers of access available to the NCB under the Opencast Coal Act 1958 along with those available to other mineral operators. A start has been made, but it is too early to say what the conclusions might be. Any proposals will be discussed at an early stage with the NCB and other mineral operators.