The notifications were made February 5 to 75 employees at River View Coal and White County Coal, citing a reduction in operational units, and another 200 individuals at Hamilton County Coal due to reduced production and a weak market.

Both furloughs are expected to be temporary; a spokesperson indicated that the Hamilton layoff could be lifted in the third quarter.

Additionally, Alliance’s Warrior Coal and Hopkins County Coal issued WARN notices to all employees ahead of a previously announced closure of the Elk Creek operation. That mine was to cease production in the first quarter, and Alliance officials said its miners will continue to work during the course of the WARN period.

“However, the future level of operation of Warrior Coal’s Cardinal mine is uncertain at this time and will depend upon market conditions,” the company said. “We deeply regret the impact of these industry pressures and our decisions will have on our employees, their families and their communities.”

The cuts are the first ones made by Alliance Coal that have been significant enough to warrant WARN notifications, a federally mandated indicator of a planned temporary or permanent mass layoff that must be provided at least 60 days in advance of the action.