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Federal No. 2 mine in Marion County idles most workers

By JIM ROSS

The State Journal

BLACKSVILLE, W.Va.  — A mine in Marion County has idled almost all its workers.

Enough workers are on hand at the Federal No. 2 mine to prevent the mine from flooding and to keep it ready to reopen, but “it’s a minimal, skeletal crew,” said Phil Smith, communications director for the United Mine Workers of America.

The mine is owned by ERP Compliant Fuels, which did not reply to a request for comment.

Smith said he understood that the mine was idled because of adverse geological conditions and market issues.

In an article in September, Platts.com quoted ERP CEO Ken McCoy as saying the mine had encountered roof falls and other geological issues as it reached reserves in the active part of the mine. One more panel remained to be mined, McCoy said.

“The reserves at that mine were getting pretty thin, so I guess they decided to not mine that last panel,” Smith said Monday.

About 260 people lost their jobs when the mine was idled, Smith said. Another 59 were laid off a few months ago, he said.

Federal No. 2 is the only mine owned by ERP, so workers do not have another mine to transfer to, Smith said.

Staff Writer Jim Ross can be reached at 304-395-3483 or email at [email protected]

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