On Tuesday, nearly 350 coal miners in West Virginia were sent notices saying their employer, Blackhawk Mining, LLC, was idling three underground mines and two preparation plants. The WARN notices were sent to 342 employees at the following operations in Mingo and Logan Counties :
- Washington Underground Mine, Logan County, WV
- Muddy Bridge Underground Mine, Logan County, WV
- Buffalo Underground Mine, Logan County, WV
- Fanco Preparation Plant and Loadout, Logan County, WV
- Mingo 1 Preparation Plant and Mingo 2 (Scaggs) Loadout, Mingo County, WV
The company is also idling operations at the No. 8 Underground Mine, a contract mine in Mingo County, WV. Blackhawk officials say the impacted employees are encouraged to apply for open positions elsewhere within the company. Permanent workforce reductions associated with the WARN notice are expected in early December, 2019.
According to a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon, the company stated the idled operations primarily produce High Vol. A metallurgical coal used by steel producers. However, recent weakness in global coal markets and the corresponding drop in prices to three-year lows, is the reason for the company’s decision.
Blackhawk Mining, LLC is a privately owned coal mining and marketing company headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky. The company operates ten mining complexes across West Virginia and Kentucky. Blackhawk primarily sells metallurgical coal to a diverse array of domestic and international steel-producers and industrial customers.