The receivers of Pike River Coal Ltd have confirmed the company could resume mining without recovering the remains of the men killed there.
Twenty-nine men were killed in explosions at the mine near Greymouth on 19 November last year.
The men's families do not want the police to hand over control to the receivers next week as planned because of fears the part of the mine where the men's remains lie could be sealed permanently.
One of the receivers John Fisk says if it becomes impossible to re-enter the part where the men are, the company would consider reopening another part of the mine so it can become a commercial entity again.
Mr Fisk says his focus is on making the mine sustainably stable and decisions about its future are a long way down the track.