Little private interest in mines: Offer to continue mining received for only one of four pits
Although final bids for three of the four mines have been received, those for Silverhill and Cotgrave in Nottinghamshire are for the surface assets only. There were no final bids for Bolsover in Derbyshire, leaving only Easington in County Durham with a chance of restarting.
British Coal must now decide if and when to irreversibly seal off the reserves at the three pits, which have been on care and maintenance while awaiting bids. The company is still processing potential bids for the other 15 mines, but said that of 300 initial expressions of interest, only 18 people had put up the pounds 10,000 bond necessary to go the second stage. Final bidders need to provide a pounds 50,000 bond.
The bids for the surface resources of Silverhill and Cotgrave are believed to have come from Vista, the joint venture which includes the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. They hope to build waste recycling and disposal plants, providing up to 900 jobs for redundant miners. RJB Mining, a private mining company with interests in both opencast and deep mines, is thought to a bidder for Easington.
All those who have expressed interest in deep mines make it clear that they would run the pits with many fewer men than employed by British Coal.
One mine of the 19 which appears to have a secure future is Betws in Wales, where the reserves are anthracite and could find a market to supply domestic and industrial coal.
The others will rely mainly on the ability of those who take them over to negotiate sales to the electricity generators, National Power and PowerGen. They could therefore pose an extra threat to British Coal's remaining mines.
Of 31 mines earmarked for closure in October last year, 21 have stopped producing coal.
Another 11 are 'market testing' but British Coal has yet to secure the extra sales needed to save the pits. The remaining core of the business is 19 mines.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...