A Neath Valley colliery that employs the largest number of miners in Wales has announced that it is considering suspending activities.

It has been reported that the plans to shut down Aberpergwm Colliery could affect around 270 employees, and American firm Walter Energy said of the proposal:

“It is a result of a challenging economic environment which continues to heavily impact the global coal industry”.

The firm has insisted that during the consultation period most of the employees will remain at home on full pay, but up to 100 employees may be required to continue working at the mine to continue development works within the upper drift.

Suggestions are that if the firm proceeds with the outlined proposals, only a small number of employees would be retained to keep the mine in a safe condition until operations resume.

Union representatives have said that the proposal is a “bitter blow” to workers at the drift mine, as the miners were already engaged in a redundancy process that was expected to affect about a third of the workforce.