Massey Energy not for sale

APPALACHIAN producer Massey Energy responded Wednesday to rumors that it is preparing to put the company up for sale.
Massey Energy not for sale Massey Energy not for sale Massey Energy not for sale Massey Energy not for sale Massey Energy not for sale

Courtesy Massey Energy.

Donna Schmidt

“These reports are not true,” the company said.

“Massey does continue to have discussions with several entities regarding various asset sales and/or joint venture opportunities it feels will bring value to the shareholders.”

The company did reiterate the memorandum of understanding it signed in January with Indian steelmaker Jindal Steel and Power.

“Under the MoU, the parties have agreed to work together and bid for the development and operation of underground coal mining projects,” Massey said, adding that the collaboration will be on, but not limited to, possible project opportunities in Australia, India and Mongolia as well as the US.

As part of the Jindal agreement, the steel producer will identify underground coal projects and obtain the necessary licenses, permits and approvals. Massey will oversee project plan development and provide technical mining expertise, technical manpower and project management.

In other Massey news, various news outlets are reporting that, in the last two weeks, the producer has been hit with 23 violations at the Upper Big Branch operation in West Virginia where 29 workers died in April.

According to the Washington Independent, Massey’s Performance Coal has received 23 violations in an ongoing “spot inspection” that commenced May 14. Data from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration shows that the citations relate to electrical systems issues or surface facilities.

Three of the 23 violations are reportedly significant and substantial, as defined by MSHA regulations.

An MSHA spokesperson did not respond by press time, and Massey Energy did not release any public comment on the violations Wednesday afternoon.

The underground workings of the Upper Big Branch operation have remained closed since the blast, but southern West Virginia newspaper the Register-Herald Reporter said the longwall might be examined on June 2.

According to the outlet, West Virginian governor Joe Manchin revealed at this week’s congressional panel hearing at the Beckley-Raleigh County Conventions Center that an inspection of the panel could be done on that date to determine if air readings had improved enough to permit inspectors to begin their underground work. To date, no investigators have entered due to gas levels.

During that hearing, Manchin reiterated his desire to have independent teams at each mine for constant safety vigilance.

“We should empower every miner to be able to pull the plug, and every good organization and every good corporation or business structure should have that as a standard operation,” he said