MEC spokesman Gary Broadbent said crews are still producing from the longwall, and once that panel has been completed “around October,” the mine will shut its doors — giving new Era an extra few months of life.

New Era is operated by MEC subsidiary American Coal Co., which also operates sister mine New Future. Both mines are located near Galatia, Saline County. MEC first announced New Era’s idle in October 2015, citing New Future’s comparatively lower production costs.

New Future will remain in operation, Broadbent said, adding that shipments to customers will not be interrupted by the closure plan.