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Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County

Reported: Apr. 23, 2014 10:40 AM EDT
Updated: Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
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WHARTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Patriot Coal Corp Wednesday issued potential layoff notices at mines in Boone County that employ hundreds of miners.

The notices were issued at Patriot's Wells mining complex near Wharton and and its Corridor G mining complex near Danville, according to a news release from Patriot. The Wells complex, which includes the Black Stallion Mine, CC10 Mine and Wells preparation plant, employs 450 people. The Corridor G Complex, which includes the Hobet 21 Mine and Beth Station preparation plant, employs 397 people.

The company said it gave 60-day notice of potential layoffs to all employees that could be affected as it is required to do under federal law. 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. The release said the scope of the anticipated downsizing will be communicated at the end of that process.

"These actions are unfortunate but necessary step to align Patriot's production with expected sales," said Patriot President and Chief Executive Officer Bennett 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."



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