NEW YORK Alpha
Natural Resources Inc. has permanently idled its Russell
County, Va., metallurgical coal mine, the company confirmed to
AMM sister publication Steel First Sept.
The decision was taken
on high production costs and lower mine output, the Bristol,
Va.-based company said.
"The cost of mining at
Laurel Mountain was increasing while the realized price for its
output continued to fall. The company has no plans at his time
to resume operations at Laurel Mountain," Alpha spokesman Steve
Higginbottom said. "These decisions are difficult because they
affect people and families, but they are absolutely necessary
to sustain our business."
The work force at the
mine was reduced by 41 Aug. 31, leaving just 51 employees to
The mine produced
about 139,000 tons from January to July this year and shipped
278,000 tons in 2012 and 315,000 tons in 2011.
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel