Gary Broadbent, Murray Energy spokesman and assistant general counsel, said in September that the most recent layoff of 112 hourly and salaried personnel at Galatia was related to an ongoing transition of production from New Era to the New Future mine, whose production costs are believed to be lower than New Era’s.
The layoffs included 50 hourly and 62 salaried personnel.
While output is decreasing at New Era, the mine is expected to operate into 2016, Broadbent said, although he did not indicate when it will cease production. New Era’s production decreased from 927,444 tons in the first quarter of 2015 to 578,406 tons in the second quarter, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The mine’s employee count fell by about 200 people during that same period.
The transition means Galatia should produce 7 million to 7.5 million tons of coal going forward, Broadbent said. New Era and New Future produced more than 11 million tons of coal in 2014.