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Largest UK coal miner seeks way forward 1 May 2013

The UK’s largest coal mining company, UK Coal Operations, is reportedly seeking voluntary liquidation, putting 2,000 jobs, and the value of 6,800 workers’ pensions at risk.

In order to avoid falling into insolvency, UK Coal Operations is seeking voluntary liquidation, as reported by the Financial Times.

A fire at the Daw Mill Colliery in February 2013, one of the three deep mines it operated, resulted in the loss of 650 jobs.

Kevin McCullough, chief executive for UK Coal Mine Holdings said: “There has been some further unhelpful and inaccurate speculation. Our main focus has been on preserving 2,000 jobs and securing the future of UK coal mining.

“We continue to work closely with our employees, government, pension funds, the Pensions Regulator, suppliers and customers.”

“As with all deals of this complexity there are many moving parts but I hope we are close to securing a way forward for our remaining mines.

“There will undoubtedly be some difficult decisions as we have had to look at all possible options. We will be able to announce more news in the coming days.”

UK Coal Operations’ two remaining deep mines, Kellingley in Yorkshire, Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, and its six surface mines, are “performing well” says McCullough.

A voluntary liquidation would allow a new subsidiary to continue the operations of the mines.

UK Coal Operations’ deep and surface mines yield 7.3m tonnes of coal a year, providing 5% of the UK’s electricity.

Last month the UK coal industry took another hit as Scottish Coal made 600 staff redundant during its liquidation process.

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