Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 24, 2012

Consol to resume coal production in November

GRUNDY, Va. —  A Southwest Virginia mine idled in September is expected to resume production in early November.

About 400 of the 606 miners who were temporarily laid off in September will return to work at Consol Energy’s Buchanan Mine on Nov. 5. Another 190 production and maintenance employees will not return to the Buchanan County mine, Consol spokeswoman Cathy St. Clair said.

St. Clair said the company is currently working to reassign those 190 employees, as well as some salaried employees, to other Consol mines.

Pittsburgh-based Consol idled the Southwest Virginia mine in early September due to a decline in global steel demand. Both mines produced metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel.

St. Clair said the Buchanan Mine typically produces approximately 400,000 tons per month on a seven-day work schedule. However, when operations resume on Nov. 5, the company anticipates that monthly production will only be approximately 293,000 tons per month on a reduced schedule.

St. Clair said the mine also will operate on a traditional five-day work schedule instead of the prior seven-day schedule.

The Buchanan Mine will have been idled for approximately 60 days come Nov. 5. Area lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., blamed the temporary mine shutdown on the Obama administration’s so-called war on coal.

Consol Energy also operates several mines in northern West Virginia.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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