The West Coast's last underground coal mine is likely to close.
The owners of the Roa mine near Blackball this morning told 20 workers about a proposal to shut the business.
About 600 mining jobs have been lost in the region over the past five years.
West Coast mines organiser for the union E Tu, Garth Elliot, said the low price of coal was to blame.
He said he never expected things would get as bad as they have in the mining sector.
Mr Elliot said the Roa mine owners will make a final decision on whether to close their mine at the end of the week.
Last year Solid Energy closed the Huntly underground coal mine, with the loss of 65 jobs.