After 300 years of producing the black gold, Britain’s last standing coal miners, UK Coal Holding, is shutting down its last two underground operations, the company said in a statement. The company announced it closed its Thoresby mine on Friday and will shut down its Kellingley coal mine in northern England around December 15.
“The U.K. coal industry has been in structural decline for 40 years,” Paolo Coghe, an energy analyst at Societe Generale, told Bloomberg. “It’s no longer positioned to withstand an extended period of low prices such as the one we are experiencing now.”
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Coal prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years as supply continues to outpace demand. According to Bloomberg, China reduced imports fell 10 percent in 2014 and are expected to fall as much as 42 percent in 2015.
In addition, shipments from the world’s five largest exports, including Russia, Australia and Colombia, have dropped by 5.5 percent to 218 million tons in the second quarter, while purchases by the eight largest importers dropped 6.5 percent to 150 million tons in the same period.
Imported coal covered 84 percent of total consumption in the UK last year, compared with 21 percent in 1995.