coalvalleynews.com

Patriot Coal issues potential layoffs notices to Boone County miners

Fred Pace fpace@civitasmedia.com

April 23, 2014

Patriot Coal Corporation has issued WARN Act notices at its Wells mining complex located near Wharton, and also at its Corridor G mining complex located near Danville, according to a news release issued by the company.


The Wells complex, which includes the Black Stallion Mine, CC10 Mine, and Wells preparation plant, employs 450 people and produced 1.4 million tons of metallurgical coal in 2013.


The Corridor G complex, which includes the Hobet 21 Mine and Beth Station preparation plant, employs 397 people and produced 2.3 million tons of thermal coal in 2013.


Pursuant to the WARN Act, the Company issued a 60-day notice of potential layoffs to all employees that could be affected.


“These actions are an unfortunate but necessary step to align Patriot’s production with expected sales,” said Patriot President and Chief Executive Officer Bennett K. Hatfield. “Both metallurgical and thermal coal markets continue to be challenging, with pricing at levels well below production costs at many Central Appalachian mines. Despite the savings we achieved in our reorganization, the production costs of these mines exceed today’s depressed prices, necessitating these actions.”


During the 60 day period, mine management at both locations will be evaluating operations and staffing to assess their ability to produce coal at a cost below projected sales prices, Hatfield added.


The scope of the anticipated downsizing will be communicated at the conclusion of that process, he said.


Patriot Coal Corporation is a producer and marketer of coal in the eastern United States, with 10 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. Patriot ships to domestic and international electricity generators, industrial users and metallurgical coal customers, and controls approximately 1.8 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.