Three hundred miners will lose their job when South Bulli coal mine closes next year.
The news that one of the country's oldest surviving underground mines would close was to be officially delivered today but word had leaked to the media the day before.
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"There have been rumours doing the rounds that we we close tomorrow - those rumours are incorrect," mine manager Barry Robinson said.
However he did not deny the mine would close next year.
The truth was the mine was no longer economically viable.
The Mercury was told the retrenchments would happen in three stages - a first group of 150 in April, then another 130 in August and the remainder by the end of the year.
In later years, the mine would reopen under various owners, including Gujarat NRE in the early 2000s, with mining continuing sporadically as new ways of extracting coal were developed.
Gujarat chose to rename the mine to what we know it now as Russell Vale colliery.
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