In total 440 men and boys were killed in 1913 following a huge explosion at the Universal Colliery site in Senghenydd. The disaster affected the lives of almost every household in the Aber Valley and sent shockwaves around the world.
The Aber Valley Heritage Group invited the First Minister to the village to launch an appeal for a poignant Mining Memorial.
The First Minister said:
"Mining is central to the story of Wales. It has shaped our history and communities and its social and physical legacy is still with us to this day.
"There was a time when mining tragedies were sadly all too common and only recently we saw four men lose their lives at the incident at Gleision, an event which was a sharp reminder of the dangers of the industry.
"It is only right that we have a permanent memorial to those – both in the past and present - who go underground in search of coal."
The Heritage Group are developing plans to erect a landmark memorial close to the former Universal Colliery site that will be dedicated to all mining communities across Wales, whilst also honouring the victims of one of the worst colliery disasters in British history.
Cllr Harry Andrews, Leader of Caerphilly county borough council, said:
"We fully support this exciting scheme to recognise the generations of men and boys across Wales who worked underground – many of whom lost their lives in the process.
"The tragic history of the Aber Valley, together with its significant contribution to the Welsh Coal industry, makes it a fitting location for a Welsh National Mining Memorial - the very first of its kind in Wales."
The project is moving forward thanks to financial support from Caerphilly County Borough Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund (£48,800) and various community contributions.