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Nearly 900 miners in two WV counties face layoff

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Alpha Natural Resources announced Monday it will shutter eight mines in two West Virginia counties as the demand and price for coal continues to slip amid a changing financial landscape.

An Alpha official said a total of 871 employees received Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications (WARN) at mines in Raleigh and Boone counties as result of “an oversupply of coal and a drastic reduction in need.” It was not known Monday afternoon if the jobs would return. The miners last day of work is expected to around March 25.

In Raleigh County, 501 employees at the Marfork Coal Co. Complex and its processing plant in Naoma received WARN notices, including Alpha’s Bushy Eagle, Slip Ridge/Cedar Grove, Horse Creek Eagle, Allen Powellton and Coons Cedar Grove mines. Included in the 501 figure, the Alpha official said, are 40 employees of Maxxim Shared Services LLC, which provides support staff to the mines.

Elk Run Coal Co. near Whitesville in Boone County will shutter three mines and its processing plant. Hunter Peerless, Seng Creek and Roundbottom/Powelltown, all underground mines, will shed 363 positions.

“That’s a hell of a lot of mining jobs…

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