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Alpha permanently shuts Va. met coal mine

Keywords: Tags  Alpha Natural Resources, coal mine, metallurgical coal, Virginia mine, Stacy Irish

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. 5.

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 remove equipment.

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 First.

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