Industries Energy/Green

Alpha may idle six mines and a processing plant before their sale

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Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. has told nearly 300 employees that mining operations where they work could be idled and then sold.

The company said it may sell substantially all of the operations of six mines and a processing plant operated by three Alpha affiliates in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.

In accordance with requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the operators notified 292 employees of the expected idling of the facilities in anticipation of their potential sale. 

‘This action is consistent with steps Alpha Natural Resources has taken in the past to build a sustainable portfolio of mining assets across the company's operational footprint," Alpha Executive Vice President of Mining Operations Keith Hainer said in a statement.

The mining operations affected by the WARN notice are:

• Mill Branch Coal Corp.'s Dorchester and Osaka deep mines in Wise County, Va., which have 134 employees.
• North Fork Coal Corp.'s North Fork No.6 deep mine in Letcher County, Ky., and the Panther No. 1, Stillhouse No. 1 and North Fork No. 7 deep mines, which are currently idled.  A total of 111 employees work at the No.6 mine or perform maintenance at the idled operations. 
• Pigeon Creek Processing Corp.’s Plant No.1 in Wise County, which has 31 employees.
• Maxxim Shared Services' support personnel for the mining operations, totaling approximately 16 employees.

Alpha is one of the largest coal suppliers in the United States, with mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

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