Bidding process set for bankrupt US coal operator Blackjewel

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FILE – In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Mine owner Blackjewel LLC of Milton, W.Va., says it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Blackjewel operates mines in Wyoming, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A federal judge has approved a bidding process for mines owned by bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel LLC.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Volk in Charleston on Friday approved a motion by Blackjewel on a proposal made by Bristol, Tennessee-based Contura Energy.

Contura has offered $20.6 million as the stalking horse bidder for three mines owned by Milton-based Blackjewel. The purchase could put hundreds back to work at the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Wyoming and Pax Surface Mine in Scarbro, West Virginia. They’ve been closed since Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 1.

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If other qualifying bids are made by a Wednesday deadline, an auction would be held on Thursday. Blackjewel attorney Stephen Lerner says any party could bid on any combination of Blackjewel’s assets.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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