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Saturday, November 29, 1997 Published at 15:01 GMT



UK

Miners' jobs under threat
image: [ Five mines are set to close with the loss of 5,000 jobs ]
Five mines are set to close with the loss of 5,000 jobs

Thousands of jobs are at risk in the coal industry as contracts between electricity generators and the largest coal producer, RJB Mining, come to an end.

The industry is currently producing 27m tons of coal but falling order books will leave companies with more than 11m tons of unwanted coal a year.


[ image: The coal industry has found it difficult to compete]
The coal industry has found it difficult to compete
At least five collieries are likely to close with 5,000 people being made unemployed.

According to a spokeman for the Confederation of UK Coal Producers, Stewart Oliver, the latest blow will shatter what remains of a once proud industry.

"What you've seen this week is an agreement for 8m tons of coal on top of another four million," he said.

"The company [RJB Mining] is still negotiating with Powergen, but the market is likely to be for something like 16m tons when we're presently producing 27m tons. So that's the extent of the problem."

The news is likely to cause further problems for the coal industry which has struggled to compete with nuclear power.








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