Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
I want to update Members today on the recent announcement that the Unity Group of companies who own Unity Mine, have reluctantly filed for administration.
Unity Mine based at Cwmgwrach near Neath is one of Wales' largest drift mine, a well-known and respected coal mining operation producing high quality coal targeted at the metallurgical coal market.
The Welsh Government have an established relationship with the company, as an economically important company in Wales with outline proposals for regional expansion. This move is therefore obviously very disappointing news, not only for the Welsh economy, but for the company’s employees and their families.
However over the last few years, the industry has experienced difficulties with the fall in global coal prices which have placed considerable financial pressure on operators.
While we are working with company to offer assistance, in compliance within state-aid rules, there are wider financial pressures and challenges that have meant that the company has had to take this decision.
However discussions with third party investors are on-going, and I welcome the Director’s intention to protect the current work force while fundraising negotiations are continuing with various parties to seek to secure the long term future of the Mine and its highly skilled workforce.
We will continue to work with the company and with any appointed administrators to explore all options for securing the future of the mining at Cwmgrwach.