UK Coal warns Britain’s biggest mine could be closed by 2014

UK COAL shares lost a quarter of their value yesterday after it revealed it could close the largest coal-producing mine in Britain, the underperforming Daw Mill mine, by early 2014.

UK Coal said it had suspended developments at Daw Mill beyond the end of 2013 due to low productivity, but retains the option to re-open the mine .UK Coal, which acquired its assets under a privatisation drive in 1994, returned to profit last year, but has said in recent months that Daw Mill remains a concern.

It has begun talks with stakeholders, including the government, the Coal Authority and pension trustees over the mine’s future. It is also in talks with its banks to refinance debts.

Its shares closed 25.4 per cent lower at 22p yesterday.