Alpha Natural Resources idles three mines in West Virginia
Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. says more than 250 jobs have been eliminated at coal mines in West Virginia.
In updating its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act announcement from last July affecting mines and some support facilities, the company said three of its affiliates have notified employees that the coal mines where they worked have been idled.
Meanwhile, one mine that had expected to be idled will continue to operate, while eight other mines have extended the period of time they will continue to operate.
Independence Coal's Twilight surface mine in Boone County and Pioneer Fuels' Ewing Fork No. 1 surface mine in Kanawha and Raleigh counties will be idled immediately, eliminating 193 jobs. Another 35 employees will be retained to perform reclamation work and wind down operations. Combined, the two sites shipped approximately 760,000 tons of steam coal in the first half of this year and 660,000 tons of metallurgical coal.
Another Alpha affiliate, Marfork Coal Co. notified employees Friday that it is eliminating 68 positions across several operations and idling the Marsh Fork mine in Raleigh County. The mine shipped approximately 100,000 tons of metallurgical coal in the first half of this year.
Alpha's Wyoming-based Alpha Coal West subsidiary is holding job fairs for Alpha-affiliated workers to fill openings at their two large surface mines in the Powder River Basin. Additionally, some individuals may accept positions with other Alpha affiliates.
Alpha said the jobs cuts were triggered by weakness in domestic and overseas coal demand and depressed pricing, along with government regulations that are causing electric utilities to close coal-fired power plants and forego new construction.
Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest and most regionally diversified coal suppliers in the United States, has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.