The decision on whether to grant planning permission to a controversial mine in Cumbria, Wales, that would produce coal for the steel industry has been delayed by a further three months, the UK government has confirmed.

A letter sent yesterday by the Department of Levelling Up, Communities, Housing, to the Friends of the Earth campaign group, has confirmed that the government has extended the deadline for the decision on whether to open the UK's first new coal mine in 30 years until 8 November.

The letter states that ministers will not be in a position to reach a decision on the application by the original deadline of 17 August because officials had not yet completed their considerations on the ‘complex matter’.

The delay means the decision would lie firmly in the remit of Britain's new prime minister, who is expected to be elected by Conservative party members in early September. The new deadline would also coincide with the first day of the COP27 Climate Summit being held this year in Egypt.

Neither of the two candidates to replace Boris Johnson - Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak - have signalled whether they would support the mine or not. Some Cabinet sources have indicated they would like to see the project approved, while others have argued it would send a terrible signal around the world for the country currently holding the presidency for the UN climate talks to approve a new coal mine.