The last three deep coal mines still operating in the UK are seeking £300m in state aid to avoid closure.
UK Coal, which runs Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire, and Hatfield Colliery, which is run by an employee-owned partnership in South Yorkshire, are both reportedly preparing applications for government grants to allow them to delay closing until 2018.
UK Coal received a £10m loan from the government in April last year, to help finance a managed closure of its two deep mines by autumn 2015.
It is estimated that 1,300 people are employed at Kellingley and Thoresby.
Hatfield Colliery almost closed in September 2014 but was saved by a £4m commercial loan from the National Union of Mineworkers. If it were to shut, 440 jobs would be lost.
UK Coal could not be reached for comment yesterday, while Hatfield Colliery declined to comment.