Bluestone Resources has reached an agreement with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) to reopen two coal complexes in southern West Virginia, US.

With its latest decision to reopen the Coal Mountain complex in Wyoming County and the Red Fox complex in McDowell County, the company is bringing back 200 union members to work.

Workers being recalled are represented by UMWA.

"At a time when the coal industry and the people who work in it are suffering, this is extremely good news."

UMWA International president Cecil Roberts said: "I am very pleased that we were able to reach a fair agreement with Bluestone.

"At a time when the coal industry and the people who work in it are suffering, this is extremely good news. I appreciate the efforts of Bluestone’s owner, Jim Justice, to get these mines back up and running and to put UMWA members back to work."

In May 2009, Justice sold both mines to Russian coal producing company Mechel OAO in a deal worth $436m, and later repurchased them in February 2015.

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Under the acquisition, Justice bought multiple mining sites in two counties, in addition to four cleaning plant complexes.

The two mines are said to have been idled for more than a year.