The Czech government may reach an agreement next week with hard coal miner New World Resources on keeping its Paskov mine open longer, Industry Minister Jan Mladek said on Thursday.
"It is very realistic that a final agreement between the state and NWR will be reached on April 22," Mladek said in a statement, adding the government could then debate the deal on April 28.
The two sides are working out a deal in which the state would provide tens of millions of dollars for social programmes for miners who lose their jobs in exchange for NWR keeping the mine open until end-2017, three years longer than planned.
NWR said on April 8 that it was confident it can reach an agreement with the Czech state by the end of April.
(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Jason Hovet)