Police close to decision on Pike criminal charges

5:30 pm on 13 January 2012

Police say they will finalise recommendations on whether criminal charges will be laid over the Pike River Coal mine disaster by the end of January.

The recommendation will then go to the Crown solicitor in Christchurch for review.

Twenty-nine men were killed in a series of explosions that began at the West Coast mine from 19 November 2010.

The Royal Commission into the disaster resumes in February and will examine the cause of the explosions and the mine systems, with a focus on the elements that contributed to the initial explosion.

In relation to criminal charges, police say whatever decision is made will not be announced until at least after the Royal Commission hearings finish.