Peter Whittall will appear in the Greymouth District Court this morning on charges relating to the Pike River Mine explosion.

The former CEO of Pike River Coal, Pike River Coal itself, and Valley Longwall International subsidiary VLI Drilling, are all facing several alleged health and safety failings over the mine's explosion in 2010 which killed 29 men.

The plea hearings were meant to have taken place at the start of the year, but counsel on both sides asked for more time to examine the evidence.

The Department of Labour laid the charges against the parties in November last year after a year long investigation into the cause of the explosion.