US-based Alpha Natural Resources has announced plans to cut 886 mining jobs and dozens more support staff at its mines located in southern West Virginia, citing an ongoing market slump.
The latest announcement comes as the company plans to idle eight underground mines and two processing plants in the region.
The operators of the mines, Marfork Coal, Elk Run Coal and Maxxim Shared Services, issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices on January 25.
According to the notices, the last day for workers will be around 25 March 2016.
As part of the decision, 468 miners and 40 support staff at five underground mines at Marfork Coal in Naoma and Whitesville, and 363 miners and 15 support staff at three underground mines at Elk Run Coal operations in Sylvester near Whitesville will lose jobs.
Alpha Natural Resources said: "It is a direct result of an oversupply of coal in the marketplace and dramatically reduced demand, which has driven prices down to unsustainable levels, particularly for central Appalachia coal."
In its WARN notice, Elk Run Coal said it will idle the Roundbottom Powellton deep mine, the Hunter Peerless mine, the Seng Creek mine, and also the Chess processing plant.
Marfork coal’s underground mines to be idled in Raleigh County include Brushy Eagle, Slip Ridge Cedar Grove, Horse Creek Eagle, Allen-Powellton, and Coon Cedar Grove, in addition to the Marfork processing facility.
In July 2015, the company announced the layoing off of 292 workers in Virginia’s Wise County and Kentucky’s Letcher county, and later on filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2015.