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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Deal Could Reopen U.K. Mine

LONDON -- One of Britain's biggest coal mines could reopen as early as next year under a $1.6 billion deal with a Russian company, the firms involved in the project said Monday.

The Hatfield Colliery in northern England, which shut in 1993, could also be the site for a clean-coal power station after Russia's second-biggest coal firm, Kuzbassrazrezugol, or KRU, bought 51 percent of Powerfuel, the Hatfield site's owner. Powerfuel is run by British coal entrepeneur Richard Budge.

"We believe that, in addition to the initial capital injection, KRU can bring considerable experience which will benefit Powerfuel both in our proposed mining operations and in the future development of a power plant at the site," Budge said in a statement. The Hatfield project is KRU's first major direct investment overseas, KRU said.

Budge's bid to reopen Hatfield comes as soaring gas prices and advances in clean-coal technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions reignite interest in coal. Depletion of Britain's North Sea gas reserves and worries about security of energy supplies have forced the government to reassess the future of coal.