UK Coal has announced today, Wednesday 11th June, that coal firm Hargreaves Services PLC has withdrawn from the managed wind down of Thoresby Colliery.
The news throws the future of the pit into further doubt with UK Coal needing millions of pounds just to close the pit by the end of next year.
UK Coal had been in negotiation with the Government and other potential investors to secure a loan of around £20m between them, but with Hargreaves now withdrawing their support, it could potentially mean the pit shuts sooner.
A spokesman for UK Coal said: “Disappointing as it is to lose one of the parties at this stage, UK Coal is pursuing options around alternative solutions to secure the managed closure plan. UK Coal will continue to work with Government, Harworth Estates, employees and the trade unions and will provide an update in the coming days.
“The board of UK Coal would like to thank Hargreaves for their support over the last two months.”
It comes just weeks after hundreds of workers at Thoresby Colliery received letters to say their jobs are under immediate threat to begin the wind down.
UK Coal had initially denied that they were facing a cash crisis when contacted by the Chad in February after word of their financial problems had leaked.
But weeks later the company finally admitted it need millions urgently or they would close ‘within weeks’.
They blamed the global price of coal and the strength of the dollar against the pound for their predicament.
Both Thoresby and Kellingley Colliery in South Yorkshire are threatened with closure, and are two of only three deep mines in the country still operating.