Kentucky miner furloughs 55 after customer defaults

AN EASTERN Kentucky coal operator has reportedly sent more than 50 of its workers to the unemployment line after one of its customers did not pay for tonnage.

Donna Schmidt

T&T Energy owner Amy Hamilton told local news station WYMT that “nothing is happening” at the mine complex near Hyden because of the lack of payment from Apollo Fuel.

“We just have to lay everybody off until I get some cash flow from Apollo Fuel,” Hamilton said, noting that the payment was for a coal purchase.

“They send me a fax telling me they're going to stretch it out thirty days, and when that happened, they paid good for probably a couple months,” she told the station.

“Then they started stretching it out even further with no warning.”

ILN could not locate an Apollo spokesperson for comment.

Mine foreman Tony Hamilton told WYMT that he was not included in the furlough but could be if the payment did not come through.

“The coal industry as a whole has been very stressful for everybody in eastern Kentucky,” he said.

“Because that's basically all we've got to live off of.”

According to federal data, T&T’s sole active mine, the Laurel No. 1 surface bituminous operation, is listed as temporarily idled.

That status change was effective from July 2.

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