Twenty nine men died in a series of explosions at the coal mine last November.

Today their families celebrate as the Department of Labour has laid 25 charges against three unnamed parties.

‘It’s momentous, I mean 29 men died so something happened and this perhaps gets us a little closer to finding those answers,’ said acting spokesperson for the miners’ families Carol Rose.

The names of the parties charged and the details of the charge can not be revealed due to name suppression orders.

Each of the charges carries a maximum find of $250,000. Formal legal proceedings are underway.

An investigation began in November of last year and came to an end after more than 200 interviews.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry will begin its third phase of hearings for the Pike River disaster next week, coinciding with the first anniversary of the fatal explosion.

These hearings will examine what caused the explosions as well as health and safety codes at the West Coast mine.