Coal mines idled in eastern KY; more than 500 employees furlough - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Coal mines idled in eastern KY; more than 500 employees furloughed

Posted: Updated:
CHARLESTON, WV -

James River Coal Company idled three mines in eastern KY resulting in 525 full-time employees being furloughed.

The McCoy Elkhorn Coal Mine and prep plant, Bledsoe Coal Mine and prep plant, and the Long Branch Surface Mine have been idled.

In a news release, the company says the mines were idled because of "continued weakness in the domestic and international coal markets."  The company did not give an estimate of when the mines could restart operations, saying it will depend on the coal market.

James River Coal Company sells metallurgical, bituminous steam and industrial grade coal to both domestic and international buyers.  The company operates through eight subsidiaries located in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and southern Indiana.