Britain to have just one coal mine after UK Coal announces closures

Suzie Neuwirth
THERE will be just a single deep coal mine left in the UK within 18 months after the country’s largest producer said yesterday it was likely to close two of Britain’s last three remaining deep pit mines.

UK Coal said it was consulting on plans to shut Kellingley in Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, because they were no longer “financially viable”.

The firm said it was in talks to secure up to £20m in funding from UK investors and the government, but warned this was just to prevent the mines being closed immediately.

“We are not looking at a long-term future here,” a UK Coal spokesman said.

If the two coal mines close, it would leave just Hatfield colliery in South Yorkshire as the UK’s last remaining deep pit mine. The closures will affect an estimated 1,300 workers.

The news comes as the full scale of the US shale gas revolution was brought into sharp focus yesterday, after new figures showed that the country’s net imports of energy in 2013 fell to their lowest level in more than two decades.

Data from the US Energy Information Administration revealed that a large drop in energy imports, combined with a smaller increase in energy exports, led to a 19 per cent decrease in net imports last year.

US crude oil production grew 15 per cent last year, accounting for much of the overall decline in imports.