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Alpha to idle coal workers in southern W.Va.

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

The company cited weak markets and government regulations that “have challenged the entire Central Appalachian mining industry.” At an average miner wage of $84,959, the loss in annual wages to southern West Virginia equals close to $93.5 million.

The reduction in force is planned for October. Employment figures are from  

The affected operations are:

• Alex Energy’s Edwight and Republic Energy’s Republic and Workman Creek surface mines in Raleigh County 

• Pioneer Fuels Ewing Fork #1 surface mine in Kanawha and Fayette counties 

• Black Castle Mining and Independence Coal’s Twilight surface mines in Boone County 

• Highland Mining’s Superior, Reylas, Freeze Fork and Trace Fork surface mines in Logan County

• North surface mine in Logan and Mingo counties

• Additional technical and support services for these mine operations

“These actions are being triggered by persistent weakness in U.S. and overseas coal demand and depressed price levels, along with government regulations…

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