Employees were given notice January 8 of the move, which CONSOL said was tied to an effort to balance shipments and inventory levels.

Twenty-eight will remain employed for mine maintenance at Twin Branch, part of the Miller Creek complex in Mongo County, and the associated preparation plant will remain in operation with no changes.

CONSOL Energy Vice President of Central Appalachia operations Brett Holbrook stressed that the stoppage is “a short-term and prudent response” to its current position.

“The exceptionally warm December weather impacted our customers’ ability to accept previously contracted shipments of coal,” he said. “This is a temporary measure designed to better sync delivery schedules with weather conditions and resulting inventory levels,” adding that the producer will continue to monitor levels.

Miller Creek produced 2.1 million tons of coal last year. It is operated by CONSOL of Kentucky.