Whitesburg KY

More local miners will get money for gasoline

A second coal company with operations in Letcher County is doling out gas money in hopes of avoiding labor shortages.

This time it’s Richmond, Va.- based James River Coal. Chief Operating Officer C.K. Lane Jr., told analysts during a conference call Tuesday that James River is giving miners $100 a month toward gasoline. The reward is tied to attendance at its mines in Kentucky and Indiana.

Labor shortages have plagued Appalachian coal producers in recent months as coal prices have soared along with international demand. Like other producers, James River, which recently purchased the holdings of Cheyenne Resources and operates the Blue Diamond complex in Leatherwood, says commuting distance and cost are factors in retaining and attracting miners.

Abingdon., Va-based Alpha Natural Resources, which operates the Enterprise Mining complex in Letcher County, is also offering gas money to miners.

A third Appalachian company, Massey Energy Co., also of Richmond, Va., said it also will begin giving gas money to miners. (AP)

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