(BRISTOL, Va.) — Mine owner Alpha Natural Resources announced plans earlier this week to shutter mines and other facilities due to weak market conditions and government regulation, informing an estimated 1,100 employees at a number of locations that their jobs will be “idled.”
Alpha Natural Resources says that they will not reduce the workforces at the affected sites immediately, the reductions will occur by mid-October. The company pointed the blame for the move at “persistent weakness in U.S. and overseas coal demand and depressed price levels, along with government regulations that are causing electric utilities to close coal-fired power plants and forego new construction.”
The company’s president Paul Vining said that the decision to idle jobs is “consistent with steps that we’ve taken in the past to build a smaller but more sustainable portfolio of mining assets.” The company has “idled” about 35 million tons of coal production over the last three years, according to Vining.
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Parija Kavilanz, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com