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Thursday, September 9, 1999 Published at 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK

Business: The Company File

Nottingham coal mine set to close

Sun sets on coal industry in Nottinghamshire

One of the last coal mines in Nottingham is set to close.

Union leaders at Clipstone Colliery say pit owner RJB has told them the pit is to close within the next 12 months.

Pit owner RJB had hinted that closures might follow disappointing results announced Wednesday.

Officials from the Union of Democratic Miners (UDM) say they met with RJB chairman Richard Budge, who said the pit would see its reserves worked out before it was closed, probably in about 12 months time.

Mr Budge had said on Wednesday that the pit, which employs 240 people, had limited reserves and could be nearing the end of its life.

If the colliery closes, the workforce will be moved to contract teams at other mines in the region, he said.

One possibility is that the workers may consider a buy out.

The news follows RJB's results announced on Wednesday, when the company posted lower half-year profits and warned it would be difficult to win sales in the second half of 1999.

Profit before tax and exceptionals tumbled to £4m for the six months to 30 June, sharply down from £44m a year earlier.

The market had been bracing for a grim result following a warning in May of production shortfalls at the Selby complex of collieries.

Only four pits in Nottinghamshire survive out of 26 working mines 10 years ago.

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