FIVE HUNDRED jobs are under threat at one of Britain’s last remaining deep coal mines after the owners proposed that the site be mothballed.
Hargreaves Services said Maltby Colliery near Rotherham, which has been producing coal for more than 100 years, was no longer viable on health and safety, geological and financial grounds.
The company said it will continue to consult with unions, and it asked for any alternative proposals to be tabled by the end of this month.
The firm said in a statement yesterday: “Although no viable alternative strategic options have been identified by the board at this time, as part of this ongoing consultative process, the board will offer the opportunity to employees and trade union representatives to table alternative proposals.”
Geological reports in recent weeks have indicated that the risks associated with mining at Maltby had not significantly reduced, Hargreaves added.
Maltby produces more than a million tonnes of coal a year, with around 60 per cent of its output supplied under a long-term contract with Drax, Europe’s largest coal-fired power plant, which is between Selby and Goole.
Much of the remaining production is sent to Hargreaves’ Monckton works near Barnsley, which produces 200,000 tonnes of coke for use in the production of glass, detergents and steel manufacturing. The company first disclosed that there were problems at Maltby in May, although mining has continued at the site since then.
The company said in May that delays in mining a new coal seam would reduce profits by £12m to £16m for the financial year ending next May.