ST. LOUIS, MO — Patriot Coal announced plans Wednesday for what could be major layoffs at two large operations in southern West Virginia.
Patriot issued 60-day WARN Act notices for its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G mining complex near Danville, both in Boone County.
“These actions are an unfortunate but necessary step to align Patriot’s production with expected sales,” said Patriot President and Chief Executive Officer Bennett K. Hatfield aid in a prepared release. “Both metallurgical and thermal coal markets continue to be challenging, with pricing at levels well below production costs at many Central Appalachian mines. Despite the savings we achieved in our reorganization, the production costs of these mines exceed today’s depressed prices, necessitating these actions.”
The Wells complex employs 450 people. It includes the Black Stallion Mine, CC10 Mine and Wells preparation plant. The Corridor G complex has 450 workers and includes the Hobet 21 Mine and Beth Station preparation plant.
Patriot did not say Wednesday how many miners would be laid off. It said it would use the next 60 days to evaluate the operations and staffing. “The scope of the anticipated downsizing will be communicated at the conclusion of that process,” the company’s news release said.