Employee trust acquires Hatfield Colliery

The ultimate equity ownership of Hatfield Colliery, a deep mine in South Yorkshire, has been sold to a trust run for the benefit of the employees at the facility in what has been described as a complex restructure.

The seller, Hatfield Colliery Ltd, was a business formed after Powerfuel Mining Ltd went into administration in 2011, and is owned by ING Bank-backed Entero, a company registered in the Netherlands.

Hargreaves Services reported the deal to the stock exchange and had provided management services to the former owner. The mining services business said it had assisted in the latest restructure by entering into a new contract with Hatfield Colliery Partnership Ltd (HCPL) on substantially the same terms as the existing off-take contract, which had approximately one year left to run.

Hargreaves has also entered into a further off-take contract that extends into the second half of 2015.

But Hargreaves said the mine management contract it entered with Hatfield Ltd in June 2011, after Entero acquired the facility out of administration, has been terminated by Hargreaves and no such contract was in place with HCPL.

The impact of terminating the management contract on Hargreaves’ current and future financial years was not expected to be material.

Hargreaves has also granted a short-term option to HCPL to acquire an extra set of face equipment from Maltby Colliery Ltd, the mine it mothballed last year amid concerns for health and safety.

Gordon Banham, chief executive of Hargreaves, said: “It has been a very challenging period for Hatfield with the combination of the landslip and recent geological problems.

“Hatfield remains a major employer in the Doncaster area with over 400 direct employees.

“Significant efforts and progress have been made by all the stakeholders and employees at Hatfield to improve the efficiency of the operation.

“I would also like to acknowledge and applaud the role that ING Bank have played during the past two years. ING have remained supportive and their professionalism has been key in enabling this highly complex restructure to take place.

“Hargreaves understands the challenges of operating a deep mine and, whilst focussing on our successful surface mining assets, we will continue to assist the operation in any way we can.”

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