Alpha Natural Resources to idle 8 mines, cut 400 jobs today - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Alpha Natural Resources to idle 8 mines, cut 400 jobs today (Updated)

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UPDATE: Alpha Natural Resources has identified the eight mines it's closing in Central Appalachia.

Spokesman Ted Pile told The Associated Press the affected West Virginia operations are the Alloy deep mine near Powellton, the Alloy surface mine near Boomer, the Premium highwall mine near Gilbert and the White Flame Surface Mine near Wharncliffe.

The Virginia mines are Guest Mountain deep mines No. 8 and No. 9 near Norton, and Twin Star Surface Mine near Hurley.

In Pennsylvania, Alpha will close its Dora deep mine in Jefferson County.

Most workers may eventually be rehired at other locations or by replacing contractors. Only 150 won't have such opportunities.

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By PAM KASEY

The State Journal

 

Major coal producer Alpha Natural Resources is idling eight mines Tuesday in West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania, with a loss of 400 jobs.

The move is part of a larger restructuring plan announced Sept. 18 in which more than 9 percent of the company's jobs, or about 1,200 positions, will be eliminated through early 2013.

The company will reduce annual coal production by 16 million tons in what it called plans to "reshape its portfolio of operations to meet the evolving demands of a changing global coal market."

The restructuring will shift the company toward metallurgical coal, with thermal operations more tightly focused on cost-competitive assets.

The shift is to be accomplished through a combination of mine and equipment idlings, production curtailments and mining out reserves, the company said.

Approximately 40 percent of the reduction will come from higher-cost thermal coal operations in the East that will not be competitive any time soon, the company said.

About half of the reduction will come from production curtailments in the Powder River Basin, to match currently committed sales volumes. The remaining cuts will come in lesser quality metallurgical coal.

Alpha has not yet said which mines are to be idled.

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