Company spokesman Gary Broadbent confirmed the immediate stoppage May 10 and also the temporary furlough of about 425 of its 650-worker direct payroll.

MEC said Century’s idle is due to an “ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by
President Barack Obama, and his supporters, and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity.”

Broadbent did not indicate if the stoppage could last longer than two weeks, but said its subsidiary and Century operator American Energy will continue to ship and sell coal tonnage during the idle period.

“Service to…customers will not be interrupted,” he said.

Century is located near Beallsville in Belmont County, not far from sister mine and fellow longwall Powhatan No. 6.