Alpha idles WV mines

IN THE wake of disappointing first quarter results, Alpha Natural Resources has reportedly opted to idle two of its West Virginia coal operations, effective immediately.
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Alpha Natural Resources corporate headquarters.

Justin Niessner

The Bee Tree metallurgical mine and the Twilight thermal mine have been shut down resulting in 130 workers laid off, according to West Virginia broadcaster WVNS-TV.

The report cited an Alpha spokesperson who attributed closure of the two surface mines to soft market conditions, a weak national economy and extremely competitive prices for natural gas.

West Virginia’s WSAZ gathered reaction from local miners.

“I understand that there’s a lot of people losing jobs and everyone’s on-edge about losing theirs,” miner Corey Tucker was quoted as saying by the news channel.

“If the mine’s shut down, everybody’s going to turn against everybody,” he reportedly said. “There will be a lot of stealing and hurting.”

The miner disclosed a $US29.1 million net loss for the first quarter this year compared to a $49.8 million profit for the previous corresponding quarter.

Alpha chief executive Kevin Crutchfield said production adjustments were part of the plan to cope with increased global supply and a geographically mixed demand picture for coal.

“In this environment, Alpha will remain focused on selectively pruning our portfolio, controlling costs and maximizing free cash flow generation,” he said.

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