UK’s largest coal mine shut down because of fire

THE UK’s biggest coal mine is set to be closed permanently, taking with it at least 550 jobs, after an uncontrollable fire that broke out at the end of February.

The inferno erupted at the Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire on 22 February – and continues to “burn ferociously” underground, with no signs of it reducing – leading to the closure of the mine, owner Coalfield Resources said yesterday.

“The 650 workforce has already been put at risk of redundancy, although a small, core team will remain on site to safely secure the mine over the coming months,” mine operator UK Coal said in a statement.

The closure of Daw Mill, which produced 1.5m tonnes of coal last year and accounts for around a quarter of UK Coal’s output, is the second recent blow to an industry battling cheap imports and greener government policy. Hargreaves Services said in December it would close its century-old Maltby pit in Yorkshire and cut 540 jobs.

Coalfield Resources shares took a hit yesterday as investors reacted negatively to the news. The shares closed 7.71 per cent lower at 4.25p.