Alpha Natural Resources’ operating affiliates have announced the expiry of the worker adjustment and retraining notification (WARN) for eight coal mines in West Virginia.

According to the company, the mines and their 750 workers will continue to operate.

The sites under the notice include Highland Mining’s Superior, Reylas, Freeze Fork and Trace Fork surface mines in Logan County, as well as the North surface mine in Mingo and Logan Counties and Black Castle Mining’s surface mine in Boone County.

Republic Energy’s Republic and Workman Creek surface mines in Raleigh County will also remain operable.

"Many of these sites have made significant progress in improving efficiencies and finding cost savings."

In accordance with the WARN Act, notices were issued on 31 July at 11 different West Virginia surface mine sites, in addition to certain support operations.

Of the eight mines that received extension notices on 26 September, two were idled due to sustained weak market conditions and government regulations challenging the Central Appalachian mining industry.

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Alex Energy’s Edwight mine will stay open without extending its WARN notice.

Alpha Natural Resources chairman and CEO Kevin Crutchfield said: "Many of these sites have made significant progress in improving efficiencies and finding cost savings.

"They were proactive in presenting ideas that helped move the mines toward enhanced contributions to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) while continuing to operate safely and in an environmentally sound way."

Alpha president Paul Vining said: "Though demand for Central Appalachian thermal coal has declined, there is residual demand for the coal these mines produce and we’ve booked enough sales to allow the mines to continue operating."