A judge has approved the sale of Blackjewel’s mines in the Powder River Basin to Contura Energy.
U.S. District Court Judge Frank Volk approved the sale on August 6, which includes the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte thermal coal mines in Campbell County, Wyoming, and the S-7 surface metallurgical coal mine, also known as the Pax mine, in Fayette County, West Virginia. Contura sold the mines in Wyoming to Blackjewel more than a year ago.
After Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy on July 1, Contura said the “most prudent path forward” was to buy the assets back and get miners back to work.
Initially, Contura’s bid included a deposit of $8.1 million and an additional $12.5 million in cash, for a total of $20.6 million. However, after a three-day auction, Contura’s bid jumped to $34 million.
Contura said it would be able to reinstate 500 jobs immediately. It also said it would resume normal operations as soon as possible.
In the court hearing, the judge also approved the sales of Blackjewel’s other assets, including the Black Mountain and Lone Mountain operations to Kopper Glo Mining; Virginia Subdivision assets to Rhino Energy; Paradee mine to Coking Coal; and LM6 mine to Tye Fork Coal Co. Inc.
Attorney for Blackjewel, Steven Lerner, said, “We hope we can consummate the offers as quickly as possible.”
He added that the parties will determine the next steps moving forward to wrap up the estate.