The work of the Mines Rescue Service is invaluable in this situation.
Wayne Thomas the NUM South Wales General Secretary is on site and we are saddened by the report that one of the trapped miners has been found dead.
The NUM wish to express their sincere condolences to the Family and friends of Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50, Garry Jenkins, 39, and Phillip Hill, 45 who have tragically lost their lives when an inrush of water escaped into the Gleision Mine.
We would also like to express our gratitude and thanks to all those who were involved in the rescue operation that have worked tirelessly in the belief that the men would be found alive.
It will be "some months" until coal mines affected by floods in Queensland are fully operation, the state's mining minister Stephen Robertson has said.
Operators of about 40 mines have been affected by the floods.
Queensland produces mostly coking coal used for steel making, but also produces thermal coal used in power stations.
And there are concerns the floods will see the price of coal rising - pushing up the cost of steel and electricity.
Coal worth about 100m Australian dollars (£64m; .7m) was usually shipped out of Queensland ports every day.
The Queensland floods have led to the temporary closure of mines that account for 8% of global thermal coal exports, mines with an annual capacity of 57.3 million tonnes of thermal coal have either declared force majeure or have reduced production because of the rains.
The National Officials and NEC members wish all our members Past and Present A Happy Safe and Prosperous NEW YEAR.
2011 looks set to be a difficult year given the situation that most of the mining firms find themselves in, although the NUM will continue to represent the interests of our members still working in the industry. With regard to the MPS the Union will continue to raise where ever possible the injustice of how our members have been treated with the objective of gaining a fair deal and continue to safeguard the benefits our members are entitled to in both the MPS and IWMPS.
The NUM welcome the announcement that he does not intend to change the law to make it easy for pension schemes’ to end RPI indexation where their rules require it and that schemes should consult members about changes to indexation. The NUM has been against any challenge to change the rules of both the Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS) and its successor scheme the Industry Wide Mineworkers Pension Scheme (IWMPS) rules to link pension increases to CPI as opposed to RPI as our rule provide for. The impact of this change would have been to reduce benefits for our members.
The NUM will continue to guard against any attempt by the ConDem government to reduce the benefits our members have worked hard for and deserve.
Fri, 10 Dec 2010
KPMG administrators called in at mining business
Powerfuel, which owns Hatfield Colliery, has fallen into administration after failing to raise enough cash to undertake upgrade and expansion plans.
The firm, which employs 380 people, needed to raise £635 million to develop the UK’s first clean coal plant. It also required £30 million to carry out upgrade works to the Hatfield mine. KPMG has been called in as administrators for the firm, and is hoping to secure a buyer to protect the jobs at the mine and the clean coal works.
The financial problems arose after the 51 per cent shareholders, Russia’s second largest coal firm KRU, decided it could not afford to put any more funding into the business.
The business planned to develop the £800 million clean coal plant after using a £164 million of European Union funding to carry out carbon capture and storage technology development work. However, it failed to raise the rest of the money needed to complete the project.
KPMG administrator Richard Fleming explained, "The central goal of the administration is to sell the share capital of the mining and carbon capture and storage (CCS) development project which sits in Powerfuel, the parent company."
"The day-to-day business of both Powerfuel Mining and Powerfuel Power will not be affected by the sales process,"
The National Union of Mineworkers will be seeking a meeting with the administrators as a matter of urgency to ensure the future employment of our members at the Colliery.
Why shouldn't Kellingley and Thoresby have remained open into 2018?
In a report prepared for the NUM and TUC "Merits of UK Coal State Aid Application" it is argued that rather than close Kellingley and Thorseby in 2015 they could remain open until 2018. Other EU member states have and still are benefiting from the fund whilst making a case for extended funding.
"It can be seen that our European competitors are taking a strategic decision to support their coal industry during managed wind down of uncompetitive coal mines, and are providing substantial sums under European State Aid regulations. As an example, Germany’s closure plans are designed to address the social impact of job losses, and specifically to allow sufficient time to enable direct and indirect supply chains to adjust. To date the UK has made little use of state-aid provisions for the sector, either under the previous regulations or current Closure Aid."
The full report can be read here http://www.num.org.uk/uploads/26/1184.pdf
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