U.S. coal supplier Contura Energy Inc. has chosen to idle Ruby Energy underground mine, also known as Kielty, and the Delbarton Preparation Plant in Mingo County, West Virginia, due to adverse marketing conditions. The prep plant is owned by Delbarton Mining Co., but operated by Spartan Mining.
Approximately 170 employees of Spartan Mining Co. LLC were notified of the company’s intention to idle. Additionally, approximately seven employees of Maxxim Shared Services LLC working at the facilities were also notified. In accordance with requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employees were given 60 days’ notice of expected layoffs in connection with the idling of these two facilities.
The Kielty mine produces coal for thermal, industrial, and metallurgical coal markets, and the Delbarton Preparation Plant serves the Kielty mine.
Additionally, Contura has decided against constructing a new refuse impoundment at its Cumberland mine in Greene County, Pennsylvania, and will not spend the more than $60 million that was previously announced in connection with this project. Instead, Contura has entered into amendments of certain of its coal supply agreements such that all of its obligations to supply coal to customers from the Cumberland mine will expire as of December 31, 2022.
In the meantime, Contura said it plans to actively market the Cumberland property for sale while it continues to supply coal in accordance with the amended agreements.
“Given the current market conditions and what we expect from the near-term outlook, it is clear that these properties are not economical and will not be able to deliver the kind of value we strive for in our portfolio,” Contura Chairman and CEO David Stetson said. “These are trying times, but we are committed to make the difficult choices necessary to maintain our long-term financial strength.”