Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 5, 2012

Consol idles Buchanan mine: Amonate mine also targeted

GRUNDY, Va. — Consol Energy is temporarily idling one mine in Virginia and plans to idle at least part of another mine in West Virginia.

Pittsburgh-based Consol attributed the moves on Tuesday to a decline in global steel demand. Both mines produced metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel.

The idling of the Buchanan Mine in southwestern Virginia is effective Tuesday.

Consol says it’s still reviewing whether to fully idle the Amonate Mining Complex in southern West Virginia.

Operations are expected to remain idle for 30 to 60 days. Most of the Buchanan Mine’s 620 workers will be furloughed. The Amonate mine employs contract workers.

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said Tuesday’s announcement didn’t come as a surprise.

“With this administration’s ongoing war on coal, unfortunately, today’s extremely disappointing news doesn’t come as a surprise,” Griffith said. “Our economy is struggling.  With current policies, the down economy is not going to improve soon. Obviously, this means that construction, including items built with steel, have been put on hold. This administration has been clear about one thing, it is not serious about using our own energy resources, thus inviting other countries to increase their production of coal.”

Griffith said the fight for coal, and coal miners and their families, continues.

 “I believe the American people recognize the unfair burdens this administration places on coal miners,” Griffith added. “I believe the American people stand, not with President Obama, but with the coal miners. Mining is an honorable profession filled with men and women who are simply looking to put food on their tables, buy clothes for their kids, and provide for their families.”

 Consol Energy also operates several mines in northern West Virginia. ”

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