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Daw Mill

Stuart Tomlins Photos Shane Philips Photos

BBC News - 8 March 2013 Daw Mill: MP calls for colliery to be 'mothballed' following early closure
BBC News
- 7 March 2013 Daw Mill: Hundreds of jobs go at fire-hit mine
BBC News - 25 Feb 2013 Daw Mill coal mining may end after 'ferocious' fire
BBC News - 18 June 2013 Daw Mill Colliery fire out as redundancy row heats-up
BBC News - 1 July 2013 Coal mines seek pension rescue deal

Chris Sampson - Does This Mean The End For Daw Mill?
Terry Macalister - The Guardian - 8th December 2008 - Colliery on track for record output

8 March 2013

Daw Mill: MP calls for colliery to be 'mothballed' following early closure

"The miners are devastated. They come out the school gates into the pit gates and that was it - it's all they've ever known."

Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton, has called for the colliery to be mothballed

Dave Meuse has worked at Daw Mill Colliery for 39 years and has spoken about the announced closure of the North Warwickshire mine.

Mr Meuse, who is also the branch secretary of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, said that the fire, which has forced the early closure, is the "final nail".

"We would have had probably 12 months of good coaling, which would've generated a lot of money.

"The new man that's taken over the company, Mr McCullough [Kevin McCullough of UK Coal] seems to be a breath of fresh air and I think if we could've shown that we can generate the production that we used to, we may well have looked good for the future."

He added that the amount of coal underground goes "all the way to Oxford".

'They are experts'

Mr Meuse, who said he feels "empty", is concerned for the workers, but particularly the younger miners who are beginning their working life.

He said: "I'm 55, who wants a 55-year old miner with a bad back and bad hands?

"We're lucky really in the fact that we've been in the industry a long time and we've got a generous pension - it's the young lads that have got families and took on mortgages on the strength of being told they'll be at the pit for years and years."

"And they are experts, but if you're doing shelf stacking in a supermarket or loading up in a warehouse, all your mining skills
are not needed."

Supervisor John Moffat added: "It's like losing part of your family because whatever you say, pit men, they're a breed apart.

"When the chips are down like the other Friday night [when the fire broke out] then we got rescue teams who were queuing up to go in and recover their mates, and it's a sad day to see."

Councillor Ray Sweet said that the closure is "almost a disaster for North Warwickshire"

Conservative Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton, has called for the colliery to be mothballed rather than completely closed in case anything can be done in the future.

'British Coal days'

He said: "I'm absolutely devastated, but more than anything, the priority are the people who work at Daw Mill and their families… We must do all that we can now to support those people that are going to lose their jobs.

"There is still a vast amount of coal down there, I think there are a few things that we need to address in relation to that."

He said that he is in close contact with UK Coal and the energy minister and is working on what can be done.

Councillor Ray Sweet, deputy leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council, also believes "it may be possible" to mothball and cap the mine.

In a joint statement with councillor Mick Stanley, leader of the council, he said: "We have had mining in North Warwickshire for around 300 years and this closure will bring an end to a longstanding mining tradition in our borough.

Dave Meuse said he saw "men with tears in their eyes" as they were emptying their lockers

"We will do all we can to assist anyone who needs our help and will be working with others to see what the implications are for the area. "

Conservative MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Dan Byles, said he has spoken with Energy Minister John Hayes, who is "adamant" that his department, and UK Coal, will do all they can to support the miners and local communities.

7 March 2013

Daw Mill: Hundreds of jobs go at fire-hit mine

About 56 million tonnes of coal is estimated to remain at
Daw Mill Colliery

Hundreds of jobs will go at a Warwickshire coal mine hit by an underground fire last month, owner UK Coal has announced.

After the blaze at Daw Mill Colliery on 22 February, UK Coal warned that mining might not be able to resume.

The company now says a small team will remain on site to secure the mine over the coming months, but the majority of its 650 staff will be made redundant.

Kevin McCullough, chief executive of UK Coal, said it was a "terrible week".

Daw Mill is the last remaining deep mine on the Warwickshire coalfields, and one of the last in the UK.

UK Coal said last month's fire had been the largest at a UK coal mine in more than 30 years and was continuing to burn "ferociously".

Over the past year, the company has announced restructuring programmes at the mine and in August it said it was "unlikely" the mine would remain open after 2014.

At the time, UK Coal said it had made overall losses of £20.6m in the six months to 30 June, with Daw Mill contributing to a 20% fall in production.

About 56 million tonnes of coal is estimated to remain at the site.

Mr McCullough said: "This has been a terrible week, not just for the company and its employees but also for the energy security of the country, as it brings an end to 47 years of coal production at Daw Mill.

"Having successfully completed the restructuring, and being only weeks away from returning to healthy production, this ferocious fire has dealt a blow to everything we tried to achieve over the last 12 months - in just 10 days."

He said deep mines at Kellingley, in North Yorkshire, and Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, along with surface mines, would continue to produce coal for use in power stations across the UK.

'Dangerous levels'

Mr McCullough said they were looking at whether they could transfer some miners from Daw Mill to those other collieries.

He said the company was also working with the government to help manage the closure of the mine.

Ray Sweet, deputy leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council, said the loss of the mine would be "almost a disaster" for the area.

He added that councillors would be holding an emergency meeting later to discuss how to help the affected workers and their families.

Kevin McCullough said it had been
a "terrible week" for the mine
and for UK mining overall

He said: "I can understand UK Coal's situation. The fire in the mine is at dangerous levels and it could blow at any time and that's what they are worried about.

"The one plus from this is that there were no men trapped in the mine by the fire, and you don't want to put anyone else at risk."

'Known nothing else'

Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones called for the colliery to be mothballed rather than completely closed.

North Warwickshire and Bedworth MP
Dan Byles, said the Energy Minister will support workers

The Conservative MP said: "There is still a vast amount of coal down there and there is always the possibility that it could be mined again in the future."

Chris Kitchen, of the National Union of Mineworkers, said the news was "devastating" for the men who relied on the colliery and their families.

He said: "We tend to find many of our members who work in the mining industry have known nothing else."

He said union officials were now determined to get the workers the redundancy settlements "they deserve".

Andrew Mackintosh from UK Coal said that it is the company's "aim" to give the workers their full redundancy pay and that discussions are under way.

He said: "We've got redeployment under way we've moved probably about 50-100 people, but unfortunately for the vast majority, we just won't be able to deploy everybody."


25 February 2013

Daw Mill coal mining may end after 'ferocious' fire

Daw Mill had been scheduled to cease production next year

Mining is unlikely to resume after a ferocious underground fire at Warwickshire's last pit, UK Coal says.

More than 100 miners were evacuated from Daw Mill Colliery after the blaze broke out 1,770 ft (540m) below the surface on Friday afternoon.

Kevin McCullough of UK Coal said: "This fire is on a scale not seen for decades - the industry has seen nothing like it for between 30 and 50 years."

Daw Mill was due to close next year and its future is now in doubt.

UK Coal said it would take anything from three to six months to resume mining at Daw Mill because of the fire.

"Given it will now be closed for a number of months, the reality of us ever getting in there to mine commercially again is very very slim," said Mr McCullough.

The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion at an old coalface where salvage work was being carried out, said UK Coal.

'Unprecedented in scale'

Mr McCullough, the company's chief executive, said 96 miners were initially evacuated.

A team of 14 remained underground to try to bring the fire under control.

He said: "We deal with these fires regularly but this one was unprecedented in its scale and it became clear to keep the men underground was not the right thing to do and they were safely evacuated.

"The suddenness of the fire and its ferocity is something we train for and hope never to see, so the safe evacuation of over 100 miners is something the whole team can be proud of."

Mr McCullough said the fire was still burning on Monday morning, although it was showing signs of subsiding.

He said staff were able to work on the surface of the mine at Arley, near Coventry, but management teams were assessing the future of the site.

'Just speculation'

The Health and Safety Executive has begun an investigation into the incident.

Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, said all staff at the colliery were asked to go to work on Monday as normal.

Those without specific jobs were sent home for the day on full pay.

He said: "It could be 72 hours before the fire is put out.

"Talk of work not starting up in that part of the colliery for another three to six months is just speculation."

Kevin McCullough said it was unlikely commercial mining would resume

The colliery's closure could lead to the loss of about 800 jobs.

Marcus Jones, Conservative MP for Nuneaton, said he was talking to the mine's owner and unions and was "hopefully" meeting ministers to discuss the future of the site.

"There needs to be a dialogue to try to make sure that we help the people affected by the tragedy," he said.

Chris Sampson
22 January 2007
Subject:News Alert: UK Coal PLC - Daw Mill Production

Oh dear......hope this does not mean the end for another one?


RNS Number:8907P
22 January 2007

Daw Mill Photos

UK COAL PLC ("UK COAL" or the "Company") today announces that, as a result of the fatal accident last week at its Daw Mill mine, caused by a fall of ground, the Health and Safety Executive ("HSE") has issued an order which calls for a systematic review of ground control requirements in an area of the mine associated with the current production phase. At the present time, it is estimated this will mean production at Daw Mill will be restricted for some four weeks. No other operations will be affected.

UK COAL adheres to the highest standards of safety and deeply regrets the fatal accident.
The Company has offered its fullest sympathies to the family.

The National Union of Mineworkers is extremely saddened at the loss of yet another miner's life at Daw Mill colliery in Warickshire and expresses its heartfelt sympathy with his relatives, friends and work colleagues.

This is the third fatality at the colliery in 8 months which causes us great concern. The NUM is in the process of ascertaining the full circumstances of this tragedy and will make further comment when in a position to do so.


UK Coal yesterday insisted there was no fundamental flaw in safety procedures at Daw Mill Colliery, despite the mine suffering its third fatality in eight months on Wednesday night.

The 42-year-old contractor, named as Anthony Carrigan, of Moorends, Doncaster, was killed when the side wall of the tunnel he was working in collapsed, crushing him under a fall of coal.
The mine's owner, UK Coal, said Mr Carrigan was performing routine repair work on a roadway at the mine in Arley, Warwickshire, when the accident took place and that support systems to make the tunnel safe were in place.
Stuart Oliver, a spokesman for the company, said: "This fatality is a tragedy for the family, the management and the men at the mine.
"It is being fully investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and we will act on any recommendations that are made.
"The mine is now open again, after the 24-hour stoppage that is traditional after a fatality. However, the roadway where the accident happened is closed while the investigation is carried out."
Mr Carrigan is the third worker to be killed at Daw Mill in less than a year but Mr Oliver insisted the deaths did not indicate a problem with safety at the mine.
He said: "There have been three separate and totally unrelated incidents, and there is no causal link connecting them.
"After the two deaths in 2006 UK Coal commissioned an independent inquiry into safety practices and procedures within UK Coal and especially at Daw Mill.
"It concluded ... that there was no fundamental flaw in the safety procedures at Daw Mill."
19 January 2007

The Guardian, Monday 8th December 2008
Terry Macalister
Colliery on track for record output
shows King Coal is striving to regain crown

• Rise in commodity prices makes new mines viable
• Expansion at risk from environmental concerns

Miners at Daw Mill Colliery who are aiming to break the
annual output record held by Yorkshire's Selby pit.
Photograph: Christopher Thomond

Britain's coal industry is on track to break a new production record as it expands at a time when many environmentalists are calling for it to be cut back or closed down.

The West Midlands colliery of Daw Mill near Nuneaton is expected to produce more coal this year than any other in the history of an indigenous industry that began with the Romans.

And this week a rig will move into position to drill three exploratory boreholes that could lead to reopening of a mothballed mine at Harworth in north Nottinghamshire.

Daw Mill has already mined 3m tonnes this year and staff are confident of hitting 3.25m tonnes by the end of this month, beating a 13-year-old record for annual output set at Selby, North Yorkshire.

"This is a remarkable achievement and shows our mining skills are world class," said Jon Lloyd, chief executive of UK Coal, which runs Daw Mill and four other deep mines. The production rise comes at a time when at least 14 companies have applied to develop 58 new opencast mines in Britain, giving coal its biggest boost in 30 years. Much of the industry was closed down after the disastrous strike in 1984 and 1985.

There are now 680 miners working at Daw Mill and the company is looking at whether it can extend working there to exploit a further 40m tonnes of coal. A further 40m tonnes could be accessed at Harworth if UK Coal obtains positive results from the boreholes and a separate seismic survey. If Harworth re-starts, at an estimated cost of £200m, it would provide work for 400 skilled miners at the Welbeck colliery near Mansfield which is due to close at the end of next year.

UK Coal is spending £100m on extending output at Thoresby in Nottinghamshire and Kellingley in West Yorkshire.

The bulk of the Daw Mill output goes by rail to the Ratcliffe power station near Nottingham which is run by the German-owned utility E.ON, with some of the rest used by the Cottam facility operated by EDF of France. E.ON is among the energy producers that want to build new coal-fired power stations, including the controversial Kingsnorth scheme in Kent.

The government is trying to decide whether it will allow new stations with or without pilot schemes for carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technique which buries carbon dioxide to reduce emissions from coal plants. The European Union has been gradually introducing tougher environmental restrictions on the burning of coal at power stations, and environmentalists consider CCS vital.

The expansion of coal mining in Britain follows a reassessment of its economics triggered by a tripling of commodity prices over the past two years. When Harworth closed in August 2006, the price of world coal was £34 a tonne. That rose to £100 although it has since fallen back to half of this level. About 60% of coal burned at UK power stations is imported from countries such as Russia, South Africa and Colombia.

Greenpeace opposes the development of mining and is sceptical about "clean coal" projects using CCS. "Coal is the most carbon-intensive of all fossil fuels," it argues. "Being nearly pure carbon, it releases nearly pure carbon dioxide. In the sector that changes our climate the most, coal is the worst offender."

Daw Mill
Photo - Stuart Tomlins