Seventy jobs created by new shift at pit

SEVENTY new jobs are set to be created at a pit near Doncaster.

Maltby Colliery will be adding a fifth shift, along with extra personnel, to increase coal production.

The shift has been added by owners Hargreaves Services in their bid to increase production levels to more than 1 million tonnes of coal per year.

The company is responsible for coal mining, distribution and coke production.

Last week the company announced an increase in half year profits and sales

Profits before tax rose by 9.6 per cent to £16.1 million in the six months leading up to November 30 and sales increased by 20 per cent to £253.9 million.

A spokesman for County Durham-based Hargreaves Services said about the recruitment process: “The process is under way and the new fifth shift will begin in earnest in April. It makes a lot of sense in terms of planning to cement and secure the lines viability.”

He added: “There is a particularly high demand for the quality coal that Maltby produces. It is a particularly high quality coal that is used for manufacturing coke

“The company ran into geological and equipment problems last year at the Maltby Colliery but they hope to get back on track with a bigger work force.”

They are also optimistic that the problems with equipment have now been resolved

Hargreaves took over Maltby Colliery from UK Coal in 2007. The company saved 470 jobs at the colliery as part of the takeover that cost £30 million.The colliery is one of only a few remaining deep mines in the UK.and has been producing coal since 1911.

Sixty per cent of Maltby’s total output is supplied under a contract with Drax power station near Selby, Europe’s largest coal-fired power plant. Some 30 per cent is provided to the Hargreaves-owned Monkton coke works in Barnsley for coke production.

Harworth-based UK Coal, the country’s bihggest coal mining company and one of the biggest in Europe, is still considering re-opening Harworth Colliery which closed in 2006. If the plan goes ahead 400 jobs would be created.

The remaining working pit in the Doncaster area, Hatfield Colliery, re-opened in 2006 after it was taken over by Doncaster firm Powerfuel Plc.