Pike River receivers won't defend 10 Labour Dept charges

Pike River Coal receivers will enter no pleas on charges brought against the company relating to the explosions which killed 29 underground miners in November 2010.

BUSINESSDESK: The receivers for Pike River Coal will enter no pleas on the 10 charges brought against the company relating to the explosions which killed 29 underground miners in November 2010.

PwC receiver John Fisk said they had no detailed knowledge of matters that related to the mine's management before the receivership and were in no position to form a view or participate in what would be costly proceedings.

"Even after the sale of the mine and related assets to Solid Energy, the company owes substantial amounts of money to both its secured and unsecured creditors."

Defending the 10 charges laid by the Labour Department would not be in the interest of creditors.

Pike River former chief executive Peter Whittall was scheduled to appear in the Greymouth District Court this morning on charges relating to the deaths and the mine's management but Judge Tony Couch adjourned hearing those charges to October 25.

Fairfax Media reports that a contractor to the mine, VLI Drilling, entered guilty please on three charges relating to health and safety failings at Pike River, and will appear for sentencing on October 26.