Ahead of its plant to idle eight mining operations and two processing plants in southern West Virginia on an ongoing market slump, troubled miner Alpha Natural Resources has issued layoff notices to a total 886 workers. The mines’ operators, Marfork Coal, Elk Run Coal and Maxxim Shared Services, issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices on January 25. The last day for workers will be around March 25.
Included in the idles and furloughs are Marfork’s Brushy Eagle, Slip Ridge Cedar Grove, Horse Creek Eagle, Allen Powellton and Coon Cedar Grove underground mines and the Marfork processing plant, all in Raleigh County, West Virginia. About 468 employees and another 40 operational support employees will be impacted.
Additionally, Elk Run’s Hunter Peerless, Seng Creek and Roundbottom Powellton underground mines and the Chess processing plant, all in Boone County, West Virginia, will close, affecting approximately 363 employees plus 15 support staff.
Alpha officials did not outline the closure dates for the mines and plants.
“This action is the direct result of an oversupply of coal in the marketplace, coupled with dramatically reduced demand, which has driven down prices to unsustainable levels—particularly for Central Appalachia coal,” the company said.
Alpha Natural Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.