Hargreaves Surface Mining Ltd, the opencast mine developer, now boasts a 500-strong work force. The company says its milestone of hiring its 500th worker marks the continued growth of the sector following the collapse of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources.
A slump in coal prices forced both Scottish Coal and ATH to fold.
Hargreaves took over several mines as it moved into the Scottish coal sector a year ago. The company currently operates seven mine sites across Scotland.
More jobs are set to be created as Hargreaves targets restoration work at existing mines and new mine sites are opened.
Peter Gillatt, managing director of Hargreaves, said: "Reaching 500 employees was a target we set ourselves as soon as we got involved in the coal industry in Scotland - and to achieve this within 12 months is a great indication that there remains a substantial demand for coal, as well as our drive and determination to succeed.”
"Our aim now is simple - to continue building on this success and to create more jobs, contribute to local economies and provide opportunities within our supply chain to secure and develop further employment," Gillatt added.
Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, said the jobs milestone at Hargreaves was a sign that the previous uncertainty in the Scottish coal sector was diminishing. "I met with Hargreaves this time last year when the coal industry and a number of local communities were having to deal with considerable uncertainty and disappointment following the collapse of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources," he said.
"At that meeting, Hargreaves Surface Mining said that securing and creating jobs was a top priority in re-establishing the industry in Scotland and they haven't disappointed and have delivered on their promise, for which they deserve considerable praise," Ewing concluded.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/16072014/fresh_employment_growth_in_scottish_coal_sector_1088/