Spokesman Gary Broadbent told Coal Age April 21 that the interruption is due to high water levels on the Ohio River, which has swelled following several days of heavy rain.

About 383 hourly employees will be affected by the stoppage.

Broadbent did not indicate when mining operations could resume, but did confirm that both coal preparation and shipment personnel will continue to load and ship coal during the idle.

He also noted that the issue relates only to the barge interruption, and that there are no issues with the mine itself.

Ohio County Coal Company was formerly known as the Shoemaker mine; it was one of several operations purchased by MEC from CONSOL Energy in December 2013.