The mines that will be idled are the Cloverlick Nos. 1 and 3 mines in Cumberland, the Panther mine near Cumberland and the North Fork No. 4 mine in Partridge. All of the mines produced thermal coal and were previously owned by Massey Energy. Alpha explained that there was no connection between the mines’ past owner and the decision to idle the mines.

Many coal companies are making similar decision and Alpha said a combination of market conditions, lower demand for coal and new environmental regulations left the company little choice.