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Historic Welsh coal mine to close

Wednesday October 24th 2012

All 270 workers at a colliery in Wales' Neath Valley are expected to lose their jobs as its owners are planning to suspend mining activities, due to challenging market conditions.

Aberpergwm colliery employs the largest number of miners in Wales and has estimated coal reserves of around 6.8 million tonnes.

The mine has a long history, having been open since the late 1800s, but that is all set to end as its American owners, Walter Energy, have now announced plans for its closure.

The company said that a consultation process has started and blamed the shutdown on difficult economic conditions and a fall in demand for coal.

The Neath Valley has been hit hard by rising unemployment and community leaders and union officials said the loss of more skilled jobs from the area was a major concern.

Assembly Member for Neath, Gwenda Thomas said: "Losing these well-paid jobs will be a real blow for the local economy. I and my office will do all that we can to mitigate the effects of these job losses."

Letters have been sent to workers at Aberpergwm, near Glynneath, informing them of the situation and potential job losses.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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