AROUND 70 Barnsley miners have been told their jobs are at risk after plans were announced to 'mothball' the pit they work in.

Hargreaves Services Plc, which runs Maltby Colliery, announced the plan last week after receiving geological reports that indicated risks associated with mining a new coal panel had not 'significantly reduced'.

A spokesman for Hargreaves said the colliery's T125 panel was not viable for mining on health and safety, geological, and financial grounds.

The mine will be now be mothballed and all 540 staff at the colliery are at risk of redundancy.

NUM secretary, Chris Kitchen, said: "These people are experienced mine workers and all of them have worked under threat of closure for the best part of 28 years and it's been one disaster after another.

"They are used to geological problems and financial costs but when safety is concerned, you cannot take chances.

"We want to save all the jobs but the reality is we will try to save as many as we can."