mining - lifeline for hatfield


Hatfield, the privatised colliery near Doncaster owned by Coalpower, and last pit of the Richard Budge empire, has been given a slender lifeline by the government. Hatfield was the come-back pit of Richard Budge after he was removed from the company of his own name in a recent boardroom battle.

Budge has advocated the building of a clean coal-burning power station next to the Hatfield pit so as to utilise the pit's reserves, the largest in Britain. The proposal would save 220 miners' jobs and probably create double that number in future.

Budge can access over £51 million in state funding, if he can also raise £30 million in private capital. But at present he has been ensnared in a funding and regulatory nightmare which may prevent this lifeline to the mining industry ever happening. The government is only funding the pumping and maintenance of the pit until the end of March.