In mid-February, Hartshorne Mining Group LLC and its U.S. affiliates filed for chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The wholly owned subsidiary of Australia-based Paringa Resources, said this was done to facilitate the sale of its Poplar Grove coal mine, undeveloped Cypress coal project and other business assets. The company said it will continue mining operations during the bankruptcy and sale process, after transitioning from two mining units to one mining unit.

Hartshorne said it obtained a commitment for $7.5 million in debtor-in-possession financing from several of its current senior secured lenders.

A company spokesman said, “Despite our best efforts and progress, operational and technical challenges continue to prevent us from achieving anticipated volumes.”

Back in November, Paringa Resources was ramping up shipments of coal and said it was the only significant independent supplier of coal outside of Alliance and Murray Energy Corp. Its Poplar Grove mine in McLean County, south of Owensboro, Kentucky, began operation in December 2018 and achieved record production from unit 1 in June 2019.

An auction of the company’s assets will be held on May 18, with a potential sale hearing on May 22.