It’s been a tough year for James River. In September, officials shuttered three other mines and furloughed 525 miners, all of whom will be laid off by year’s end. In Q3 2013, company net losses rose to $25.5 million from a $20.6 million loss year-on-year.
Along with other miners, James River’s met coal has suffered from oversupply and slowing in growth in China, while U.S. demand for its thermal coal is hurt by domestic utilities switching to cheaper natural gas. Q2’s shipments also fell 26% to 2.16 million tons.
Looming Washington regulations discouraging coal use haven’t helped. White House plans for carbon emission rules on thousands of power plants, meanwhile, are also bruising the U.S. thermal coal industry. James River Coal Co. also has mines in southern West Virginia and southern Indiana.