CHARLESTON, WV (WJHL) – One of the largest coal mining groups in the country has filed for bankruptcy.
Revelation Energy LLC and its affiliate Blackjewel LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in West Virginia on Monday.
According to court documents, the companies employ about 1,700 workers and own 32 mines and other coal facilities in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wyoming, including properties in Appalachia, St. Charles, and Honaker in Virginia and Cumberland and Evarts in Kentucky.
The companies listed the following principal assets in court documents:
According to the Energy Information Administration, Revelation’s and Blackjewel’s combined coal production in 2017 made them the sixth-largest coal producer in the country.
Court records show the companies have at least $500 million in estimated liabilities. They owe $60 million in mining royalties to the Department of Interior, $37 million in taxes to Campbell County, Wyoming, plus another $11 million to the state of Wyoming. They also owe $6 million to Kentucky and $1.6 million to Virginia in taxes. They owe millions more to other companies.
Jeffrey Hoops, president and CEO of Blackjewel and former president and CEO of Revelation Energy, blamed regulations, market conditions, and operational issues for the financial downfall. Dozens of other coal companies, especially in the Appalachian coalfields, have filed Chapter 11 over the past decade.
Court filings show that Blackjewel was formed in 2017 as part of Revelation Energy’s restructuring. The new company purchased most of Relevation’s active mining properties while Revelation transitioned its focus to reclaiming former mine sites. Blackjewel later acquired mines operated by James River Coal Company, Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, and Contura Energy.