According to the Associated Press, the company – owned by billionaire coal magnate and West Virginia political hopeful Jim Justice – will open up the doors to the Coal Mountain complex in Wyoming County and Red Fox in McDowell County.
Though no timelines were outlined – officials only said work would be done to recommence production as soon as possible – both mines have been idle for more than a year.
The announcement comes just four months after Justice confirmed he had bought Bluestone Resources back from Russian steelmaker Mechel. The Justice family initially sold it to the company in May 2009.
The employees being called back are union miners, represented by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
“This is a great day for these families in the wake of all the devastation that has happened to the coal industry,” Justice said. “I appreciate my relationship with all the hardworking people and officials of the UMWA. With all of the mine shutdowns and the terribly sad news, it’s about time that we finally have some good news to report for our miners and their families.”
UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said the union is pleased with the deal.
“At a time when the coal industry and the people who work in it are suffering, this is extremely good news. I appreciate the efforts of…Jim Justice to get these mines back up and running and to put UMWA members back to work.”
In addition to his philanthropic work and his efforts with Bluestone Resources, Justice has also confirmed his campaign to run for governor of West Virginia in 2016 as a Democrat.