Neath Valley's Unity mine files for administration
THE owners of a Neath Valley drift mine - Wales' largest - have filed for administration.
In August it was revealed that there may be jobs losses at Unity mine in Cwmgwrach.
Management said they only had work for 66 out of the 220 employees.
A statement issued by the company this afternoon said that the Unity Group of Companies had been forced into the process of filing for administration.
Director, Richard Nugent, added: "Discussions continue about the future direction of the mine.
"Fundraising negotiations are continuing with various parties and the current workforce will be maintained until further notice."
Wayne Thomas, of the National Union of Miners, said the company would be meeting with its 22 apprentices and their parents tomorrow morning to discuss the future.
He added that the rest of the workforce would be able to attend a meeting at Cwmgwrach Rugby Club on Monday afternoon.
"While we’re aware of what happens when you file for administration, we will be seeking further meetings with senior management throughout next week," said Mr Thomas.
"Our concern first and foremost is that even though they have filed for administration, our concern is whether the mine will be put into a care package which will allow for discussions, without damaging the infrastructure of the coal mine."
He added that there were many years of reserved left at the mine.
Neath MP Peter Hain said that although it was a deeply worrying time — especially for the workforce and their families — he understood that the management was hopeful to secure investment to take the mine back into production and away from administration.
"I understand that key discussions are taking place imminently," he said.
"Unity remains a vital and exciting project and everyone must do everything to ensure it can both be saved and can move forward."
AM Gwenda Thomas added: "It is extremely regrettable that Unity mine has gone into administration.
"I sincerely hope that the administrators can find new owners for the mine, and preserve the miners’ jobs and the future of the apprentices.
"Welsh Government officials continue to be in discussion with the mine."