Early June 2015...Hatfield Colliery In Trouble
A very large fall, as high as a house, stopped the only working face for about 2 weeks. All the fallen debris had to be cleared and then Carbofil foam pumped into the cavity. Another product called Puresin a type of glue was used also. The output had fallen for the mine to around 16,000 to 18,000 tonnes saleable per week, a far cry from the 40,000 tonnes plus required last year. Since the drivage to the bottom of the main conveyor drift for the delivery of coal from the retreat panel all development had ceased. The manpower of around 430 men would have to be reduced.
A further difficulty had arisen with the lack of further orders from Drax power station where all the output was delivered. Again this points to a possible earlier closure of the mine which was expected to remain open for at least another year and longer should extra funding be found from whatever source.
Since the Green Tax on fossil fuel had been announced earlier to come into force from April 2015 all power stations etc had stocked up on supplies and of course with summer coming the rate of burn would not be so great, so the stocks would last longer and new orders would not be necessary. The price of coal had reduced to £35 per tonne, and that proved impossible to be mined at that price in the UK, as each tonne would be mined at a great loss. I feel that extreme high wages in the past few years with some earning over £100,000 for the year and others earning vast bonuses for special jobs over a couple of days, and Under-officials being high earners also, only assisted in making UK coal more expensive, and as seen, has been priced out of the market. So much for short-sighted views, leading to the demise of the deep mining of the coal industry and loss of jobs.
Thoresby the last pit in Nottinghamshire closes on 15th July 2015 and that leaves Kellingley in Yorkshire living on a knife edge as to when that might close. Although scheduled to close some time towards the end of 2016 unless £x million can be found to invest in the pit I fear the worst and the prophesy I made all those years ago about the death of the industry will sadly ring true, albeit then I thought the industry would last until approximately 2025 to 2030 taking into account the age of the pits being about 90 to 100 years from sinking, as they were planned for at that time, for it was envisaged that more mines would be sunk further east. Of course this was not to be.
News break - 29 June 2015 - From BBC Sheffield & South Yorkshire
Hatfield Colliery could close within 48 hours if orders are not forth coming this week. A spokesman said that the Government had refused to give the private Trust Company the £12 million asked for to keep the Colliery open.
Some miners interviewed stated that they were expecting that the colliery could close at any time in the last 6 months due to all the problems they have had.
25 June 2015
A veteran Labour MP and former miner has made a plea for the government to use "state aid" to save the remaining deep mine pits in the UK from closure.
Dennis Skinner, MP for Bolsover, made the appeal in the House of Commons.
The three collieries are Hatfield in South Yorkshire, Kellingley in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.
All are to shut by 2016 unless a rescue deal is agreed. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd gave no commitment.
Mr Skinner said: "The last government took £700m out of the miners' pension fund.
"Let's give some of it back, apply for state aid, save the three pits in question and save a lot of jobs."
Ed Miliband, former Labour leader and MP for Doncaster North, also asked for urgent action to keep Hatfield Colliery, in his constituency, open until summer 2016.
Ms Rudd said the government had agreed to provide Hatfield Colliery Partnership with £20m support until its planned closure in August 2016.
About 430 people work at the employee-owned colliery.
Kellingley and Thoresby, which employ about 1,300 people in total, are scheduled to close in 2015.
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