Negotiations are private, but multiple unnamed sources told Bloomberg News this week that Blackhawk will be the “stalking horse bidder” in an auction for Patriot’s holdings.

The producer, which moved its headquarters from St. Louis to Charleston, West Virginia earlier this year, filed bankruptcy for the second time in less than three years just a few weeks ago.

Should the deal proceed, it would build upon an already quickly growing Blackhawk; the privately held group established in 2010 already purchased some assets of bankrupt miner James River Coal last year and it also has acquired some assets from Arch Coal.

So far, neither company has released public comment on talks, though Blackhawk executives told Bloomberg in an April interview that the company was in an “acquisition” mode.

“We’re a coal company in West Virginia, and we’d be interested in just about any deals that come available,” President Nick Glancy told the news service.

In related news, the trustees assigned to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court docket case for Patriot coal have appointed an official committee of unsecured creditors.

The following members will serve on the committee, according to Bankrupt Company News: Laura L. Moran (U.S. Bank National Association); Grant Crandall (United Mine Workers of America); David Allen (UMWA 1974 Pension Plan and Trust); S.R. (Dick) Smith (Raleigh Mine & Industrial); Stephen Moss (Strata Mine Services); David McCombie (Enviromine); and Michael Coffey (Crown Parts & Machine).