Nearly 700 coal miners in Western Kentucky are feeling hopeful this week, despite Patriot Coal deciding to permanently shut down the Highland and Dodge Hill mines on Dec. 31.
Kentucky Mining News
The coal miner, which emerged from bankruptcy only a year ago, had warned earlier this month it might have to make “substantial” job cuts at those facilities.
Patriot Coal Corporation issued WARN Act notices to all employees at the Highland mining complex located near Henderson, Kentucky, and the Dodge Hill mining complex located near Sturgis, Kentucky.
The rest of the house is just waking as Scottie Sizemore plops down in a rocking chair on his front porch with a cup of coffee. The sun has yet to crest the ridge above, where mist clings like clouds that couldn’t quite make it over.
Eastern Kentucky could play a deciding role in a Senate race seen as important to establishing control of the United States Congress in upcoming mid-term elections.
The coal firm was hard hit a steep drop in prices and demand for both thermal and steel-making coal.
Kentucky had the most metal/non-metal mining deaths, and West Virgina registered the highest number of coal mining deaths.
The Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky surface coal mine where two workers were killed on Friday was cited earlier this year over the stability of a highwall. The two workers were employed by a blasting crew and they were trapped in or near their truck by falling rock and earth. Several other miners at the site were injured by falling rock and debris. Armstrong, which began mining operations at Equality in the fall of 2010, utilizes two draglines and the truck-and-shovel mining methods. The mine has been closed pending an investigation.