PINEVILLE, W.Va. — Cliffs Natural Resources has issued a notice of preliminary plans to idle the Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County at the end of August impacting 450 miners.

Wyoming County Commissioner Silas Mullins tells MetroNews he received a call from a Cliffs official Wednesday morning letting him know of the plans.

“The coal market is down and the steel market is down,” Mullins said.

Cliffs’ operation near Pineville produces metallurgical coal, used to make steel. It issued the required 60-day WARN notice Wednesday.

Cliffs spokesman Ryan Thorn said the decision is being driven by market conditions but the company is hopeful things will change.

“If something happens in the next 60 days we won’t have to take this action,” Thorn said.

Commissioner Mullins said mine is the largest in Wyoming County and the biggest severance tax producer.

“We’re going to lose a great deal of money from that,” the commissioner said. “Right now we are in an analytical mode to see what kind of impact there’s going to be on the county.”

He said if the layoffs go through it will probably hurt young miners the most.

“They buy a new car, buy a new house, a trailer, SUV or whatever, and as long as they were working everything’s fine. Now with these job losses it’s just going to have a trickle down effect,” Mullins said.

In a prepared statement from Cliffs, the company said it hopes the layoffs don’t happen but if they do the hope is they will only be temporary.

“Cliffs considers the Pinnacle Mine a world-class operation with a strong and productive workforce of mining professionals,” the statement said. “We understand the potential impact this could have on employees and will work with them during this uncertain time. Cliffs’ commitment to the health and safety of our employees and the environment remains top priority. We will continue to work on planned safety program and on-going environmental measures.”

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  • Ed

    Why do states support politicians or parties that take jobs away from Americans? Why are there no insentives to Americans or American companies to create Jobs for Americans?, But we have open borders and welfare checks for any one that wants to come here? Why are non-American children allowed to freely come to America for free health care and financial support while Americans are forced at gun point to buy Insurance from the Federal Government? How many Americans are given these rich benefits in Mexico?

  • Ed

    Coal is not dead, but the industry needs to fight back and modernize. Coal will always have its place in the production of steel and as energy to produce electricity. We have the tools to make our power plants cleaner, but we fail to advance those tools to create American Jobs and stability. Instead of fighting wars over oil and in the end handing the treasure to the bad guys, because our political will and insite are focused purely on winning the next election and not on the stability of our country, we Americans would drive energy costs lower and Coal would be King. Coal could slash heating costs in the USA drastically, if the industry embraced taking coal to the next level. Making coal a cleaner energy requires leadership, but America lacks leadership from its Politicians and others who could create the clean fuels.

  • previuosly union miner

    The sad part is that the union backed him. I still have the letter they gave us when I worked at pinnacle urging us to vote straight Democratic. This was brought on by the union. I hate to see all of my friends suffer financially. There is a war on coal an now it has struck home for all the Democrats too. I myself have had my income cut in half since he took office. I hate to put it this way,but we as a state are reaping what we have sown. The little community I live in had numerous people sitting at the polls urging me to vote a Democratic ticket even after all we have been thru the last 6 years! I will have to leave my home state to find work shortly. This layoff is going to affect me too.

  • FungoJoseph

    The exportation of coal and banning it is the next in the liberals/progressives War on Coal.
    Obama will use it as justification because of other countries disbelief in the global warming hoax. Mark my words.

  • george

    lets keep puttin those Democrats back in office......Rahall, etc---(sarcasm intended)

  • Vic

    The UMWA did not endorse ("the moron") the last election. Moron.

    • DWL

      Check their donation log. They sent plenty of cash to them. m0r0n lover!

  • DWL

    Can you say "Thank You" to the m0r0n and his EPA Gestapo? How about thanking the UMWA for giving the m0r0n all your hard earned dues money to get him elected and keeping him there, AFTER he told you he was going to shut you down. These WV democrats you elected - every last one of them - put their X beside the m0r0n's name when they voted, yet you think they are fighting for you. Liberal insanity is voting for the same liberal m0r0ns - local, state & federal - time and time again! You are responsible for your own demise. You have to be some DUMB hillbillies to not be able to see what they are doing to you.

    • J the C

      real intelligent comment. You're calling someone a moron? humorous.

  • Question

    For all those saying that WV need to elect conservatives, do you honestly believe they can just wave a magic wand and fix all of this? Conservatism doesn't get anything done as it would make things worse

    • Chalkdust

      Don't be a idiot. Nobody has a magic wand, but Conservative values when applied, have a better chance of giving the folks a hand up than a bunch of lying democrats.
      I challenge anyone to name one single state, city, county or federal government that operates better under the boot of liberalism.

    • Jephre

      Yeah, and the dems have done such a great job over the past 80 years. How could conservatives make it any worse?

  • Big Hooptie

    Until WV votes conservative in state elections, expect more of this along with other economic declines in other industries.

    No one wants to build here. Businesses are leaving. Regulations (which other nations laugh at) are killing us. Once the gas boom is over with, we will really see things tank and I anticipate we will fall to 50th in all economic categories nationally.

    Anyone with a lick of sense knows that these regs are political ploys to control energy. If you control energy, you control voters. Unfortunately, most of us can't see it.

    • Hillboy

      I guess I don't have a lick of sense. Could you explain to me how by controlling energy you control voters.

  • tom

    i worked 36 years at this mine and lets stick with facts. cliffs done all the hiring of new employees, when uss had this mine we went for almost 20 plus years before anybody was hired. cliffs has worked when everyone else has not. they will do everything possible to keep everyone working. hopefully this will pass and everythoing will work out.

  • Bullet Bob

    For the last 2 decades, Pinnacle Mining i.e. US Steele, Cleveland Cliffs. Every 4 years or so they start to hire. Know sooner they do that comes the layoffs. That's why I never applied for a job with them. Take in the fact that it's an old operation . It can't compete in to days market . Sad part is they will hire from other miners from other operations knowing this will happen. I hate this for my friends that took jobs with them recently, leaving good jobs with benefits.

  • zero tolerance

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
    Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
    Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
    Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away...........

    • Huh

      That's true because we all know coal mines haul away rivers lmao.

  • Ron t

    Does know one read these articles? The pinnacle mine produces metallurgy grade coal. President Obama and the natural gas boom can be blamed for layoffs in the steam coal mines, but if anything coal exports under Obama have increased. This is a metallurgical coal demand issue not an environmental issue.

    • Aaron

      Obama has nothing to do with export increases. That is a result of various world conditions including flooding in Australia and increased demand in Europe.

  • Fiscal Conservative

    They removed an offensive comment. Now my reply looks stupid

  • Richard

    This is just what every West Virginian gets and deserves for voting democrat. You only have to thank the late senator Byrd, and his friends Jay, jumping joe manchin and good ole boy nick.

    • Misty

      Wow how nice it must be to be so intelligent. Me and my family and our friends none of us vote Democratic. And we all live in WV. So before you go making assumptions you really need to think about what you are saying. My family and many many more are being wrongfully punished for the ignorance of others. And although I do not know what state you are from I am sure you are aware that you shouldn't be judged for the way your neighbors live? These are very hard working men and women. No laid sit on my rear jobs. This is hard and dangerous work that they do to provide. And my father who has worked since the age of 16 in the mines and knows nothing else is having to struggle to live. Sadly at age 60 and working 44 years he is a in to fight to just live. So with this being said do not judge.