Plans to lodge a formal application for a major new surface mine have been pushed back again, the company behind the scheme has announced.
In July 2013, Banks Mining unveiled the Highthorn project, for the east of Widdrington Station, inland from Druridge Bay.
It was hoped that a detailed bid could be submitted in the summer of 2014, at the earliest, but in April, it was announced that this had been pushed back to later in the year.
But at the Monday, September 1, meeting of East Chevington Parish Council, clerk John Douglas told members that the company is again delaying the submission of a bid.
A letter from Banks, which was read out to members, said that the firm is now hoping to enter a formal application in the spring of next year.
Banks states that this will give it sufficient time to get everything together and consult with members of the local community.
The letter also stated that investigations are progressing well.
Banks has said that the scheme would sustain local jobs for more than a decade and provide an opportunity to add new and improved community and tourism resources to the area.