LEXINGTON, Ky. (WJHL) – Rhino Resource Partners announced Wednesday that it has closed on an agreement to purchase some of bankrupt coal-operator Blackjewel’s assets in Virginia.
Under a new subsidiary named Jewell Valley Mining LLC, the Lexington-based company agreed to pay a cash consideration of $850,000 plus an additional royalty of $250,000 for three underground metallurgical coal mines in Virginia, a preparation plant, and rail loadout facility.
Rhino says the purchased mines were operational before Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy protection on July 1. The company says it is working to return the mines to full production and is even considering expansion.
“We are pleased to announce this acquisition of high quality, mid-vol metallurgical coal assets in Virginia that will enable the coal miners in the area to return to work,” Rick Boone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhino’s general partner, stated in a news release Wednesday. “We have begun the process of hiring key personnel for these operations as we look to return these mines to their full production capacity. We are also evaluating expanding production with these assets based on market demand for this high quality mid-vol coal. We have already met with the primary existing customer for this coal and they look forward to these mines resuming production as we believe this quality coal is key to the customer’s operations.”
The company did not give a timeline for when the mines will resume normal production or when employees will be able to return to work. Hundreds of former Blackjewel workers are still owed wages after the company’s paychecks bounced.
Blackjewel Bankruptcy Coverage:
- Attorney: Blackjewel miners need to submit creditor forms for bankruptcy case
- Hearing ordered as Blackjewel miners continue to protest by blocking coal train
- Feds ask court to halt transport of Blackjewel coal in Virginia until miners get paid
- Virginia U.S. Rep. Griffith proposes legislation for Blackjewel employees