An Alpha Natural Resources official has confirmed that the company has idled a Pike County mine, a decision which will eliminate 48 jobs.
Steve Hawkins, director of media relations for Alpha, said the company has closed its Sidney Coal Company Taylor Fork Energy underground mine. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Mine Data Retrieval System, through the first three quarters of this year, the mine has produced more than 282,000 tons of coal.
Hawkins said the decision to idle the mine resulted in the immediate termination of 12 employees, with 36 employees being kept on for an undetermined amount of time to close out the mine. Also, he said, the company has instituted reductions at two West Virginia operations.
The reason for the closing, Hawkins said, is that with current market forces in play, it doesn’t make sense for the company to operate as it has.
“We have an oversupply of thermal coal and we have unsold coal,” he said.