Energy minister Michael Fallon is expected to grant the owners of Kellingley Colliery a £10m government loan to keep the pit open until next year.
Mr Fallon told National Union of Mineworkers representatives at a meeting this morning that the government was in favour of granting the loan, which will allow UK Coal to stage a ‘managed closure’ of the pit over the next 18 months.
Chris Kitchen, NUM general secretary, said: “Our main concern was preventing the pit from immediate closure. Without this loan it would have shut on Friday.
“Michael Fallon told us that in principle the government is in favour of granting the loan.
“But this is only stage one and we were told there would be no more government funding after that.
“It’s now up to us to try to convince them otherwise or secure a commercial loan for the pit’s long-term future.”
The government is expected to announce the loan in the Commons tomorrow (Thursday).