Anglo American will put one of its Peace River Coal operations, Trend mine, on care and maintenance after being affected by a series of issues, including declining prices of metallurgical coal.

Located in the Tumbler Ridge area of the Peace River region in north-east British Columbia, Trend mine produces hard coking coal for use in steel production and has a workforce of more than 300 people.

Anglo American Coal CEO Seamus French said: "Significant reductions in operating costs and reduced mining activity have failed to offset the impact of a weakening metallurgical coal price.

"As a result, we have been forced to take further action in response to the weak market conditions, so that we can preserve the long-term future of the operations."

"This is a pause and not a withdraw from our long-term vision in British Columbia."

According to reports, the price of metallurgical coal has gone down to around $120 a tonne, from $300 in 2011.

In 2013, the mine’s production increased by 22% to 1.7 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, compared to the previous year’s figures.

Anglo American spokesman Federico Velasquez said: "This is a pause and not a withdraw from our long-term vision in British Columbia."

French added: "We will ensure that the operations can be re-started as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible when the market improves.

"Our immediate priorities are to provide the support to our employees that they need at this difficult time and to stay focused on a safe transition to care and maintenance by year end.

"Anglo American sees significant long-term growth potential in the north-east of British Columbia and Peace River remains an attractive asset within our coal portfolio."