Hargreaves to suspend Maltby colliery operations

Wed Nov 7, 2012 11:27am GMT

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(Reuters) - British mining, transport and engineering group Hargreaves Services Plc (HASE.L) said it will stop mining at its Maltby coal mine in South Yorkshire due to unsafe conditions, putting at risk about 500 jobs.

The mine supplies Drax Group Plc's (DRX.L) power station in North Yorkshire — Europe's largest coal-fired power plant.

Hargreaves said in August that the mine faced the risk of being closed down or mothballed because of worsening geological problems.

The company said on Wednesday that it could not find a viable alternative plan for the mine, and employees and their union representatives can table alternatives by November 30.

Geological reports indicated mining at Maltby was risky, and the T125 panel there was not viable on health, safety, geological, and financial grounds, Hargreaves said.

The company said in May that delays in mining a new coal seam would reduce profit by 12 million pounds to 16 million pounds for the year ending May 2013.

Shares in the company were up 0.7 percent at 732 pence at 1123 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore)

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