Mining firm’s steps to avoid insolvency

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The owner of a Smalley coal mine is understood to be seeking voluntary liquidation after a fire closed its Warwickshire colliery.

UK Coal Operations, which owns Lodge House Surface Mine in Heanor Road, closed its operation at Daw Hill with the loss of 650 jobs in March after the worst coal-mining fire in 30 years.

Now, the company is seeking voluntary liquidation to avoid being forced into insolvency.

The move would allow a subsidiary to run the firm’s surviving mines, which include some of the UK’s last deep mines – Kellingsley in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire – as well as six open-cast mines.