The US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has approved Alpha Natural Resources’ Plan of Reorganization, including the sale of certain wholly owned subsidiaries.

The plan is set to become effective upon Alpha’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is expected to take place during the end of this month.

Alpha Natural Resources chairman and CEO Kevin Crutchfield said: "Confirmation of Alpha’s Plan represents the final court milestone in a complex, one-year restructuring process.

"We appreciate the commitment of our workforce, the trust of our customers, and the ultimate support of our creditors and broader stakeholders in helping to pave the way for Alpha’s successful emergence as a more streamlined, financially secure company with attractive prospects for the future."

"Confirmation of Alpha’s Plan represents the final court milestone in a complex, one-year restructuring process."

Once the company emerges from Chapter 11, it is expected to operate as a privately held entity.

The court also approved Alpha’s sale of certain core coal assets to Contura Energy, which was formed by a group of Alpha’s first lien lenders.

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Set to close with Alpha’s emergence, the sale will include the company’s two Powder River Basin mine complexes in Wyoming, the Nicholas, McClure, and Toms Creek mine complexes in Virginia.

The sale also includes all of the company’s coal operations and certain reserves in Pennsylvania, the company’s interest in the Dominion Terminal Associates coal export terminal in Newport News, Virginia.

Contura Energy will operate as an independent entity in the US and international coal markets and would provide credit support of $35m for Alpha from the effective date of emergence until September 2018.

The company has also agreed to contribute up to $100m for next ten years into certain restricted cash accounts to help fund the ongoing reclamation activities of Alpha.

In March, Alpha filed a proposed Chapter 11 plan and a related disclosure statement with the US court.