Management at Hatfield colliery in South Yorkshire must convince electricity generators, including Drax, EDF and Eon, to continue paying more than the market price for its coal before the end of the year, or face closure in 2016.
Hatfield, which was used to film scenes for the 1995 film Brassed Off and falls within Labour leader Ed Miliband’s North Doncaster constituency, is one of three deep coal mines still operating in the UK.
The other two sites, Kellingley in Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, are set to close in 2015.
According to the Hatfield Colliery Partnership, there are “at least 40 years of reserves” in the mine.
Hatfield has been employee-owned by the partnership since the end of 2013. If it is forced to shut, 440 jobs will be lost.
The Hatfield mine has face difficulties before and almost closed in September, before being saved at the last minute with an unprecedented £4m commercial loan from the National Union of Mineworkers.
Hatfield colliery declined to comment yesterday.