Kellingley Colliery could close within 48 hours

Kellingley CollieryKellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery could close within 48 hours if miners refuse to accept a deal that would see the pit close over an 18 month period.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) indicated it would reject an offer from energy minister Michael Fallon that would support a ‘managed closure’ at a meeting last night.

Mr Fallon announced last week that a £10m state loan, alongside £10m from the private sector, would support the closure of the pit, which employs 700 workers, along with another at Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, which employs 1,300 people.

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But Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the NUM, said the union would continue to fight for alternative options to keep the pit open as a “going concern.”

He said: “We have been told by UK Coal that Kellingley could close within 48 hours. We want a long term option for Kellingley and we will fight for that.

“We’ve had a series of crisis meetings with UK Coal and they will continue tomorrow but it is a real danger that the pit could close imminently.”

A UK Coal spokesman said: “The firm was informed that up to 250 NUM members attended and a show of hands indicated a reluctance to accept the managed closure deal, but this was not an official vote.

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“Further discussions will now take place to fully understand the views of all NUM members, as UK Coal seeks to finalise a £20m investment package for an 18 month closure programme.

“Without this deal, the business is likely to enter insolvency in the coming days.”