Workers at one of the few remaining deep coalmines in Britain were warned of potential redundancies today.
Maltby Colliery in Rotherham has been producing coal for more than 100 years but the presence of gas, water and oil in the development of a new face has fuelled uncertainty over the site, which employs about 500 people.
Owner Hargreaves Services said that it will issue the employees with notification of potential redundancies and will soon begin a statutory 90-day consultation.
Maltby Town Council chairman John Carrat said he was "gutted" at the news.
"When Hargreaves had a similar problem three years ago they had faith in the workforce to get through.
"Last year they made £34 milion worth of profit, so I think it's time Hargreaves gave the workforce down at Maltby Colliery some support."