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UK coal mining on the brink of extinction

The deep-pit coal mining industry in Britain is on the brink of extinction after the Government said there was no case for investment to keep two of the last three sites open in the long term.

Ministers have allowed a £10 million loan, alongside £10 million from the private sector, to support the "managed closure" of the mines at Kellingley in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.

Kellingley Colliery near Castleford in 1977. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The sites, to be wound down by autumn 2015, employ 1,300 people and are operated by Britain's largest coal producer UK Coal.

The Government money spares the company the prospect of immediate insolvency which would have cost the Treasury "significant losses and liabilities" from redundancies and unpaid taxes.